By Rachel Vick and Jonathan Sperling
Two NYPD traffic agents were left wet in Woodhaven after an unidentified man sprayed water on them after apparently receiving a ticket.
The agents were standing near Jamaica Avenue and 86th Street on July 24 when the man walked over and reportedly said, “When you write tickets to us it will happen to you,” an NYPD spokesperson told the Eagle. In a surveillance video, the man can be seen tossing water from a bottle onto the agents.
The man is being sought for “obstructing governmental administration,” according to the NYPD.
Similar incidents have prompted an aggressive response from law enforcement unions and some Queens lawmakers.
“These ‘water bucket’ attacks we saw yesterday were embarrassing and appalling, and we must come together to support our law enforcement in the face of such disrespect,” District 30 Councilmember Robert Holden tweeted earlier this month, after cops in Brooklyn were soaked with water in a now-viral video.
Others, however, say such response to the water incidents are excessive.
“The disproportionate response from the NYPD to these incidents of young people splashing water on officers compared to officers committing violent misconduct, also often on tape, demonstrates the Department’s failure to see its own hypocrisy,” said Anne Oredeko, supervising attorney of the Racial Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society following the release of an NYPD memo directing officers to arrest people who splash water.
“Young people are getting arrested for splashing water on 100 degree days while officers who have killed and seriously injured people continue working, collect pensions, and barely get a slap on the wrist. Historically, black and Latinx communities have suffered the brunt of police abuse, harassment, and violence. The Department should focus on addressing those root issues before attempting to criminalize playing with water,” Oredeko added.