Turns out Lemkin|5 came a few days too soon; here we have a bit of follow up that reaches all the way back to dickity-nine. You no doubt fondly recall the sad tale of Kimber VanRy, the man who received a $25 summons for just sitting there, drinking his own beer, on his own stoop, all safely enclosed behind his own gate there in Brooklyn.
Well, they’re at it again. The New York Times (again) reports that this time it’s Andrew Rausa and a few friends that were sitting on a similarly figured stoop behind bars; each received a summons. Even one friend who “was holding a red plastic cup filled with soda” received a $25 summons. This is hardly surprising, in that they made the cardinal mistake of pointing out the inherent foolishness and likely illegality of this sort of enforcement. Gentlemen, to the iPhone:
Holding his phone, Mr. Rausa approached the officer and said that because he was sitting on a private stoop behind a gate, he was not breaking the law.
“I don’t care what the law says, you’re getting a summons,” the officer said before rolling up his window, according to Mr. Rausa.
Frankly, he’s lucky he didn’t get his face used as a door opener for a few hours while the cops made their rounds. At the very least, a savage in situ beat-down would have ensued in various parts of town. Even in the absence of all that, a simmering rage gradually built over the $25 fines:
“We had an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment,” he recalled. “They were like, ‘No way, we’re going to fight this. This is injustice.’”
“My issue is not some yuppie, I-think-I’m-above-the-law-issue, it’s the fact that I brought to the attention of the police officer that he was not in the right and he was not receptive at all,” Mr. Rausa said.
File that last sentence under “least surprising thing ever reported by The Times of New York.” I’m not even entirely sure Mr. Rausa is still speaking English at that moment. But he’s right about the legality part. And that’s something, isn’t it? Rest assured we’ll be watching for the outcome of this one. If CourtTV hadn’t long ago switched its programming to only Bahrani hard-R independent films, we could all expect extensive coverage. But we can’t. So it goes.
Regarding the mechanics of the piece itself: what beers were they drinking? How many? Crown tops or twist? Where did you learn your trade, Vivian Yee? Clearly not from Clyde Haberman, who I trust is still with us. But, in partial recompense, Vivian does offer up some spicy VanRy where-are-they-now:
Since contesting his summons [and having it dismissed on a technicality], Mr. VanRy has moved from Prospect Heights to a brownstone in Windsor Terrace, but he hasn’t stopped enjoying his beers outside
Thank FSM for that. And godspeed to you, Andrew Rausa. A parched nation looks to you as you defend our freedom to drink a beer quietly whilst safely ensconced on our own property.