New York police should have arrested Rosella Best for vandalism. Instead they arrested the “blond, blue-eyed vandal” for a hate crime.
On August 26, a surveillance camera caught the 36-year old woman tagging a public school in Brooklyn.
“NAZIS=NYPD,” her grafitti stated. She also wrote “NYPD pick on the harmless” and “NYPD pick on the innocent.”
Best was charged with aggravated harassment, criminal mischief as a hate crime, which is considered a felony. The woman’s alleged action is considered a hate crime because she painted “NYPD” next to a swastika.
In New York, a “hate crime” must involve “violence, intimidation [or] destruction of property” inspired by animus toward people on the basis of “race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation,” according to Article 485 of the state’s penal law.
“Absent from that inventory is any mention of occupation as a ‘protected category,’ which means that the NYPD must consider itself to be either a tribe, a cult, or perhaps even a sexual orientation, most likely one that fetishizes sadistic mistreatment of the helpless,” writes William Norman Grigg.
The NYPD’s misuse of the hate crime designation was lost on the New York Daily News, however.
“If this suspect hates cops now, imagine how the person will feel when he’s locked up for his spree of anti-NYPD graffiti,” writes Thomas Tracy.