Woman says she was attacked by misogynistic NYPD officer


Photo by Jason Wagner, via Gothamist.
This is horrible:

Greenpoint resident Chrissie Brodigan says she was riding on the L train between Bedford and First Avenue when her pug, who has health problems, overheated and began vomiting in the tote bag she was carrying him in. As she was leaving the subway station with the dog in her arms, she says a police officer’s attempt to issue her a ticket turned ugly, and when she became upset the cop began saying, “If you’re going to act like a woman I’m going to treat you like a woman.”

Brodigan says the cop went on to punch her in the back, and in the scuffle to handcuff her, he “grabbed my breasts and pinched them.” A witness’s account:

Melissa Randazzo, a speech language pathologist who lives in Williamsburg, witnessed the arrest and tells us, “something about it seemed very wrong. The cop’s tone seemed really inappropriate and he kept saying things like, ‘Are you going to act like a woman?’ She tried to walk away, and then he grabbed her and pushed her against the wall outside the turnstile.”

Luckily both Brodigan and her dog are okay.
A couple of thoughts here. Because the cop who Brodigan identified as her attacker is the NYPD’s lone Hasidic officer, the Gothamist comments section has a bunch of racist comments and negative stereotypes about Hasidic Jews. Can we all please just agree that racism is not a useful response?
Also, Brodigan appears to be pretty plugged-in, and has thankfully been able to draw attention to this incident. I wonder how often this sort of abuse happens, but the woman in question does not have so many resources at her disposal. How many of these incidents do we never hear about?

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63 Comments

  1. TheyBlockedMe
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    This comment has been deleted because it violates our comment policy.

  2. RegoParker
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Everyone here has their own biases and prejudices when it comes to police, misogynistic men, animal lovers, etcetera.
    Let’s all take a deep breath and look only at the facts for a second:
    - Chrisse Brodigan initally reported that the officer “twisted her breasts” and was making misogynistic comments. When confronted with that on the Gothamist, she wrote, “… he MAY have been excessive.” Think about that. So, he MAY have twisted her breasts. Or he may not have done anything.
    - She claimed to have been too injured to work the next day, but didn’t have any problem doing outdoor TV interviews, deleting her Twitter page which includes admissions of out of control behavior, etc. She also was the one who initiated contact with many of the blogs.
    - One Hassidic poster on Gothamist explained that the officers comments were likely influenced by his speaking Yiddish and there being a common phrase, “to act like a mensch” – and that when he addressed a woman and in translation, it became, “act like a lady and I’ll treat you like a lady”. Based on all of Brodigan’s “misrememberings” and her ‘evolving’ story, I tend to believe this is the most likely scenario.
    - Chrissie Brodigan admitted in interviews and on the Gothamist site that she was verbally abusive to the police officer, calling him “a-hole” among a long list of insults.
    - For the first 24 hours of this story, she couldn’t remember if she made anti-semitic remarks to the officer as reported by a named eye witness.
    - The other eyewitness whose boyfriend took photos, admitted she left the scene to run upstairs to call 911, so couldn’t possibly make any claims with 100% certainty about what happened or didn’t happen during the entire incident.
    - She admits to resisting arrest several times. She sat down on the floor of the subway station, which FORCED the police to lift her, as she was handcuffed, by the upper arms. That would result in the bruising seen above.
    - She claims to have been left handcuffed with three other prisoners who beat and spit on her. Which calls into question which ‘attack’ caused which injuries. She claims the officer ‘punched’ her in the back. No photos of either claim and she seemed absolutely fine and happy doing TV interviews.
    - In the photos, she is stamping her right foot, neck vein popping and in an aggressive stance. The officer, including the one she accuses, seems passive and indifferent, wanting only to be somewhere else. (my interpretation. Your mileage may vary.)
    Apart from my view of the photos, the above is not in dispute. So, you may want to rethink your position that this was some he-man-woman-hater bringing the pain on a helpless woman.
    It definitely did not go down like that.
    I hope those of you who have convicted this officer, called him names and soiled his reputation will think twice on this.

  3. liv79
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite parts about feministing is when posts about police brutality get flooded with “Fact Trolls.” It’s like stepping into a fantasy land of wonderment and lunacy. (facepalm)

  4. FactsArePrettyImportant
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Well, we wouldn’t want anything like facts getting into the way of your view point now, would we?

  5. FactsArePrettyImportant
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    So, this site is REALLY big on censoring benign posts…
    Here are the two they wouldn’t post. You tell me if there’s a little “Freedom of Speech is good for ME, but not YOU” going on here:
    POST 1
    Jrant…
    When I asked you to look at the picture where did I suggest Brodigan became violent and abusive? I asked you to take a look to see who’s body language SUGGESTED a more aggressive demeanor. If you saw two pictures of me and in one I was lying in a hammock with my eyes closed and one I was standing at the ready with my fists clenched it would be obvious which would suggest a more aggressive nature, but it would not tell if I did actually get violent. I don’t know what happened, nor do you, but everyone on this site has decided to play judge, jury and executioner of this officer who was just doing his job.
    Have you ever watched the show Cops? Do you see what those officers go through when trying to cuff someone who does not wish to be arrested? There is grabbing that could lead to bruising and that is POSSIBLY what happened here. If Brodigan is attempting to pull her arm away the officer has to grab her tighter which COULD lead to bruising without him ‘roughing her up.’ Is it possible that she has a condition that causes her to bruise easily? Is it possible she had those bruises already and now she’s trying to cash in? You don’t know her motivation, I don’t know her motivation and about 8 million other people in this city don’t know what happened, yet there are a lot of people on this site that have labeled this officer a misogynist without knowing all the facts. No?
    Also, if you knew anything about eyewitness testimony you would know it tends to be highly flawed. Your unnamed witness above says, “”That absolutely did not happen. I did not hear any comments like that at all.” But just because that eyewitness (or earwitness as the case may be) didn’t hear it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Even Brodigan herself leaves an out when she says, “I don’t remember saying anything anti-Semitic.” When I was in college I was working in a bar and underage when a bartender slipped me a drink in full view of the boss. He confronted me and I could not tell him the name of the bartender who gave me the drink. She thanked me for not giving up her name, but I had to tell her I didn’t do anything special as I truly could not remember who gave me the drink.
    Could it be possible that the eyewitnesses you want to quote as if their word is gospel may have issues with the NYPD? I’m not saying they do, but is it possible? Put it this way, if we were both lawyers facing off in a court room I’ve just put a ton of reasonable doubt in the mind of the jurors. Can you recover from that? I don’t think so, but I’m willing to listen.
    POST 2
    Since I’m the one who has been accused of “name calling” I’d like to ask how me agreeing with someone who refers to themselves as an asshole is wrong?
    If you look at my other comments I like to think they are rather well thought out and just asking why the posters here all seem to know what happened in that station? If anything I believe myself to be the most rational person on this site because I am NOT rushing to judgement in this case. If there is evidence to suggest this officer acted in any way that was less than professional he should be dismissed forthwith, but somehow the people posting here have read one story on a blog and they are ready to ruin this officer’s career.
    I also like that feministing.com has blocked my original account. Way to go. Healthy debate can’t be had when you only want to talk to people who support your point of view.

  6. sangetencre
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    When I’m at home (where I don’t use MS Outlook) I just right click the “report abuse” button and copy the link; it includes the e-mail address of the editor and the link of the comment being reported.

  7. idiolect
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Would it be possible to delete/ban/etc based on a consistent pattern of dominating discussion with badgering and condescension? Some trolls manage to never actually call people names or throw around slurs or what have you, but they still shut down productive discussion really effectively by using the comments section as a soapbox for their own misguided rantings without any respect for the context, the community, the original poster, and anyone with the nerve to call them out on it. I don’t think this kind of thing should be permissible, either.

  8. the reckless tongue
    Posted July 5, 2009 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    I would stop engaging with Fair and Balanced; I don’t think there’s too much to gain there.

  9. the reckless tongue
    Posted July 5, 2009 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    I would argue that FAB is a troll, not necessarily a troll that deserves to have their account deleted–yet (s/he would have to be more aggressive and obnoxious instead of merely annoying), but someone who it is best not to engage with (as I wrote above) because it doesn’t bring any real value to a feminist discourse.

  10. bklynchica
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    This is simply insane (the assault situation).
    When you serve the public, you cannot take anything personally. Example: if she did make anti-semitic remarks, he still did not have the right to pinch her and touch her. Any arrest had to be made in a way that was strictly by the book. You take the insults, do your job, and call it a day. Proper protocal. It applies to cops, social workers, etc. Anytime you work serving the public, you do things by the book. Does this mean you just take abuse? No. If a situation is one you feel is escalating, you seek assistance. You do not decide to take revenge (if in fact he did) by assaulting someone. I am sure most cops are good people just doing their job, but at the end of the day, just because most do a good job does not mean we have to put up with the few bad apples “just because”. We can’t assume she didn’t do anything, but you also can’t assume he acted appropriately.

  11. FactsArePrettyImportant
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that comments stopped when two of us pointed out the rush to judgment. Can anyone tell me the status of this?

  12. FactsArePrettyImportant
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    So, you can’t assume he acted appropriately, but you can assume he didn’t like everyone posting here seems to have done?
    I still find it hysterical that my posts never make it onto the page. Freedom of speech for all who agree with me!!!! That should be the new Femisting.com motto.

  13. idiolect
    Posted July 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s called “not feeding the trolls.” Welcome to the internet.

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