Considering the events of the last couple of weeks, the sight of an NYPD squad car rolling onto a Staten Island basketball court during a tournament may not have initially been a welcome one. But it turns out the NYPD finally figured out how to score some good press.
The car was part of the show, the Staten Island Advance reports, and Brian Hogan-Gary, 20, proceeded to dunk right over it. But not before removing his jersey to reveal a homemade shirt reading “R.I.P. Eric Garner,” in honor of the 43-year-old father of six who died in police custody earlier this month. This is called catharsis:
Sirens blared on cue, and the place went nuts. “People were really surprised the cops wanted to be a part of it,” said Joel Soto, an Under the Lights league founder. “It definitely brought down a little of the tension between police and the community.” Garner’s sons play in the league, but were not present for the dunk contest.
“The cops were really great and nice about it — it was a little bit surreal,” Soto added. And as a part of the department’s new Twitter strategy, the NYPD even tweeted a photo of the car getting posterized, a stunt approved by the local commander of the 122nd Precinct. It’s not even close to a solution, but it’s a start.