During the heyday of Occupy Wall Street’s mini-city in Zuccotti, a perennial problem was poop: clearing it, transporting it, and disposing of it. Now, with the tents a distant memory and the NYPD cracking down, a few of the occupiers are turning that old challenge into a new and smelly sort of payback. According to Gothamist, the department just leaked a video of two creative occupiers pouring buckets of “human excrement” around the city. Joggers take note … the pranking took place on the corner of Nassau and Cedar streets, down some stairs, and into a nearby Chase branch.
According to the NYPD, one of the two men in the video (curiously enough, a guy from Philly), has been arrested and charged with “Unlawful Possession of Noxious Matter (human urine and feces)” — which is probably not the police’s favorite statute to enforce. He’s also charged with driving without a license while transporting the slurry.
With this week’s round of arrests and the Union Square eviction, tensions are high as the occupation enters its first-ever spring. According to the Times, the police have been dispatching older, high-ranking, white-shirt officers to tangle with the protestors. Police may fear “a resurgence of the movement,” as the Times puts it. Their response? Releasing not-so-flattering videos like the one above. And also, apparently, hard-nosed 61-year-olds. The department has dispatched Chief Joseph J. Esposito, the highest uniformed ranking officer in the city, to fend off growing protests around the city. Despite his age, Esposito hasn’t been afraid to roughhouse, as the Daily News video below makes clear:
The chief tends not to talk to reporters, and the department says his conduct “speaks for itself.”
Although Esposito himself is soon due to retire at the mandatory age of 63, the OWS crackdown is seeing other, older officers — lieutenants, captains and inspectors — take the front lines. According to the Times, the NYPD is trying to keep blue-shirt rank and file away from up-close occupier arrests, worried that less experienced officers are more likely to go too far. The department is likely more fearful of bad press than feces. But for both sides, clips like these augur an increasingly divisive, maybe stinky road ahead for occupiers, police officers, and sanitation workers alike.