Originally published June 4 2015
New York City cops arrest two men for sitting too comfortably on midnight subway ride
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Have you ever heard the phrase "man-spreading"? If not, you're far from alone. But two guys riding a New York City subway just got arrested for doing it.
Man-spreading – the act of a man spreading his legs wide when he sits down – is frowned upon in the Big Apple. Apparently, the reason is because the act takes up too much space on crowded subways, forcing other passengers to stand.
The arrests came to light in a recent report on "broken window policing" in NYC, a failed crime theory which posits that putting a stop to lesser, even petty, crime, especially in poor areas, prevents the commission of more serious crimes. Only men were mentioned as having been arrested for this heinous act; women, apparently, are not subject to the same rules, as evidenced by the lead photo accompanying this Breitbart News report on the issue.
The act of man-spreading became an issue via a politically correct public shaming Tumblr campaign, which describes the act as "a classic among public assertions of privilege." However, it was the which actually coined the term in 2014.
Don't inconvenience subway travelers in NYC, men
As Breitbart News further reports:
That blog notes that taking up more than one seat on the metro is technically illegal under Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) disorderly conduct rules, if doing so interferes with the comfort of other passengers. Passengers caught man-spreading can find themselves in line for a $50 fine, although it is not clear whether any passenger has ever been fined for taking up more room than they need.
However, now – thanks to some group calling itself the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), dedicated to exposing "discriminatory and abusive practices of the NYPD," with a particular reference to minorities – it has been revealed that the two men arrested for man-spreading have been summoned to appear in court.
Members of PROP often sit in on local court proceedings to monitor cases that are going through the legal system. One recent visit to the arraignment division of Brooklyn's criminal court involved PROP volunteers who learned that two Latino men had been arrested for "man-spreading."
The judge in the case said she would ensure that the charges were dropped from their records if they did not get arrested again but further voiced skepticism regarding the charges in the first place, in particular because of the time of arrest: "12:11am, I can't believe there were many people on the subway."
What other "offenses" got people arrested? Well, walking between underground subway cars as the subway sat motionless; putting feet, or a foot, on seats; and singing.
"Arrests are quota-driven"
Also, the PROP report details the case of a dance troupe that is arrested regularly.
"The leader of a subway dance group — they don't perform in the cars but in more open spaces in large stations like Union Square and Times Square — reports that the police regularly harass his dancers, all of whom are black and brown," Breitbart reported.
"The officers sometimes arrest them, cuff and confine them, on charges like disorderly conduct and 'making too much noise'. They are always held overnight and the judge invariably dismisses the charges when they appear in court. 'A waste of time and money for everybody,' the group's leader says."
PROP's director, Robert Gangi, believes that such arrests in NYC are quota-driven.
"My very strong sense, and I think other people see it the same way, is that it's quota-driven," he said. "These kinds of tickets or arrests are low-lying fruit, they're easy pickings."
"We've never seen someone ticketed or arrested because they were actually inconveniencing somebody," he added.
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