I’m the first person to give the stink eye to suspicious people lurking anywhere near my kid. However, a group of adults at a playground without kids and eating donuts and sipping coffee would not be grounds for me to take mental notes on their eye color and height to compare against the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
Still, a group of three women and one man were slapped with a $50 fine each from two cops for breaking the law for being present in a children’s play area in Brooklyn and not having a child with them.
The quartet says they were treated like “child molesters for doing nothing more than sit[ting] on a park bench.” They now either have to pay the fine or go to court to clear their name.
The offenders argued there were no signs clearly stating that adults were not allowed in the park without children. As it turns out, the regulation was posted with 14 others on a sign in small print.
The cops in the area in which the incident occurred, Bed-Stuy, are allegedly known for giving out tickets for low-level offenses so they can meet their quotas.
One cop guarded the ticketees while the other cop went back to the police car to issue the summonses.
This ends up actually being kind of tough — philosophically speaking — as a mom. Kind of. I mean, I appreciate someone looking out for the safety of a park where kids play. But I would think the officers in the area have enough of a handle on the types of crimes and criminals most common in the neighborhood that they could use their discretion and best judgment when deciding who and what to single out as criminal. I’m no expert on Brooklyn or the criminal code, but I’m willing to bet Bed-Stuy has bigger problems.
Do you commend the cops for following the letter of the law or do you think they were a little overzealous in this case?