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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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34 Responses

  1. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil July 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm |

    Jill, why quote the Post at all on that point?

  2. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |

    Jill – you don’t need to quote the post, you can look at Chrissie’s own comments and come to a reasonable conclusion… that this didn’t happen as alleged…

    Let’s 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. She later updated and said she had a panic attack.

    - 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. If the boyfriend was photographing and on the scene the entire time, then the photos he posted omit all of Chrissies claims and portray her as the aggressor. You’d think the guy would have one photo of breast-twisting, back punching, etc., if he’d been there the whole time, huh?

    - 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. Jesse
    Jesse July 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm |

    @ RP

    You’re missing the point entirely of the situation. If the police officer had approached Ms. Brodigan and said “Excuse me, your dog needs to be in a carrier,” she then would be able to explain her dog had vomited and she was now carrying him to wash out the bag/grab a taxi home/ have him treated. This was not a situation where Ms. Broadigan was doing something illegal and needed to restrained. This is a situation where a cop used his power to exacerbate the problem.

    Actually, rereading the story (from the link) it sounds like the officer did not believe the original explanation. Geez, if someone took my dog away from me, tried to arrest me, and just wouldn’t believe a damn thing I said, I’d be pretty pissed off too and try to fight. This story isn’t about woman-hater; it’s about a woman’s voice counting less when clearly there wasn’t a problem.

  4. bellareve
    bellareve July 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm |

    RP: I dunno, my family & I speak Yiddish, and the word “mensch” does NOT mean lady or woman any way you translate it. So that’s nonsense.

    If she made Anti-Semitic comments, that was stupid and ignorant, but still NO excuse for violence and sexual harassment.

    If a bunch of male cops were cornering and harassing me simply because I was trying to help my sick pet, you can bet I would be aggressive and uncooperative too.

  5. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm |

    Jesse – I did get the point(s) of the story. The officer REPEATEDLY asked her to put the dog in the carrier… politely. She refused. He asked her for ID. She refused. She then, by her own admission, freaked out and went ballistic on the guy.

    And actually Jesse – she WAS doing something illegal, as she herself ADMITS in several of her postings. She was transporting an animal without it being in a pet bag, she resisted arrest and failed to produce ID, all of which are required by law.

    You also characterize the bad police as “taking away her dog” – they did no such thing. Look at the photos. Because of her freak out, she had to be arrested and the police looked after her dog while she escalated the situation.

    You say the officer “used his power to exacerbate”… Really? How do you come to that conclusion? By Chrissie’s own admissions it was she who behaved inappropriately!!!

    This story is not about a woman’s voice counting less, it’s about an officer doing his job and encountering someone who has no respect for the laws, who disobeys police, who resists arrest and who hurls vulgarities and insults at those charged with enforcing the law.

    And regarding bellareve’s comment – My family too speaks Yiddish, and I can certainly see someone saying “be a mensch” – which means “person” in Yiddish, and I can certainly accept someone who IS a Hassid telling me that what the guy was probably saying was “be a person… be a lady… behave like a lady”…

    Either way, he wasn’t calling her an asshole. It was Chrissie who used that term.

  6. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm |

    As far as the feminist angle of this story goes, I don’t believe it for one second.

    This is a classic spin on a story that had ZERO to do with misogyny. Taking a phrase uttered by an officer in an escalating situation, something like “Act like a lady and I’ll treat you like one” – and ignoring the entiretly of the rest of the story, much of which is clearly bogus – certainly isn’t going to advance any feminist cause. There are real and serious issues out there, and this isn’t one of them.

  7. Lena
    Lena July 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm |

    Bellareve: “If she made Anti-Semitic comments, that was stupid and ignorant, but still NO excuse for violence and sexual harassment.”

    Absolutely. There is NEVER an excuse for sexual harassment.

    RP: “There are real and serious issues out there, and this isn’t one of them.”

    Gee, where have we heard that before?

  8. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla July 2, 2009 at 6:28 pm |

    wow, only 8 comments and RP has already turned this thread into a cesspool of misogyny.

  9. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm |

    Oh please, GG, get a clue, will you? The cop is a human being too and how do you think it might feel to be the most identifiable officer in all of NYC and to be FALSELY accused of misogyny, breast-twisting, threatening to kill a woman’s dog, etc…. ?

    But no, it’s about me now, I’ve turned the thread into a ‘cesspool of misogyny’…

    In the last few hours, someone from the DC area posted that Chrissie has a history of “crying wolf” stories.

    I’m sure that won’t change many minds here, and I dont expect to be reading any apologies or retractions…. or maybe I’ll be surprised. Not holding my breath…

  10. chava
    chava July 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm |

    RP–
    Why do you feel the need to refer to Ms. Brodigan as “Chrissie”? It seems unnecessary and comparatively demeaning.

    And, um, you don’t say to a woman “be a mensch”…at least not that I’ve ever heard.

    Further, why would this “boyfriend” have run away to call 911 if he did not feel something inappropriate was happening?

    Finally, I am a uncomfortable with both sides of the racial and gender dynamics here. On the one hand, we have this Hasidic policeman, who comes from a strict Orthodox culture where women are expected to behave/dress/speak a certain way if they want to be treated as even sub-human. So it is possible, although far from certain, that perhaps he found this to be acceptable behavior, especially if he was goaded with racial insults.
    HOWEVER–he is also a minority in a situation with a white woman, and I think we might want to add the same amount of skepticism to her allegations that we might if this were a black officer and a white woman.

  11. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm |

    Chava –

    You are prejudging the officer’s behavior and attitudes as well as questioning his professionalism. You assume because he comes from a “strict Orthodox culture” that he cannot perform his job and made these remarks (which keep changing with each report.) Would you say the same of a Muslim officer? Or someone who comes from Egypt, lets say, where it is reported that 95% of women have experienced some form of FGC (female genital cutting). Please check yourself on that.

    But I agree with you completely that we need to apply skepticism here.

  12. Roy
    Roy July 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm |

    Jesse – I did get the point(s) of the story. The officer REPEATEDLY asked her to put the dog in the carrier… politely. She refused. He asked her for ID. She refused. She then, by her own admission, freaked out and went ballistic on the guy.

    And actually Jesse – she WAS doing something illegal, as she herself ADMITS in several of her postings. She was transporting an animal without it being in a pet bag, she resisted arrest and failed to produce ID, all of which are required by law.

    Actually:

    1. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I live in New York, so maybe Jill would know better than I do, but it’s not against the law to refuse to show identification. It is against the law to refuse to identify yourself to the police when asked. That isn’t the same thing.

    Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court (2004) 542 U.S. 177 stated that a state could make it a crime for a person to refuse to identify hirself when asked by police, while lawfully detained. These are “Stop and Identify” statutes, and apply only in cases where a person is being officially detained by the police. Note that they ruled that you must already be lawfully detained–not that the police could detain you for it. Nor did the decision state that an identification card was required, only that the person must identify hirself. If she wasn’t yet officially being detained, then failing to identify herself wasn’t a detainable offense.

    2. The law is that animals riding the subway must be in pet carriers. She was leaving the subway, and was stopped on her way out. Thus, she was no longer riding the subway.

    3. Can you be arrested for resisting arrest when you’re not yet under arrest? If you’re resisting arrest, it means you’re already under arrest. What crime had she committed that required her to be arrested? I strongly suspect that neither carrying an animal on the subway, nor forgetting your wallet are arrestable offenses.

    This story is not about a woman’s voice counting less, it’s about an officer doing his job and encountering someone who has no respect for the laws, who disobeys police, who resists arrest and who hurls vulgarities and insults at those charged with enforcing the law.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll agree that swearing at the police isn’t really a good idea. That being said, I don’t really see how it’s necessary to push someone into a wall or manhandle and handcuff that person because she’s got a sick dog outside a carrier, or because she forgot her wallet. We’re talking about crimes that are on par with jay-walking, spitting gum in a parking lot, or failing to sort your recycling. This “no respect for the law” thing is a bit rich. I guess I have no respect for the law, either. Why, just in the last hour I crossed outside of a cross-walk, while the “Don’t Walk” sign was lit, and I drove 7 mph over the speed limit. I guess if the cops rough me up a little bit, it’ll be because I had it coming.

    Either way, he wasn’t calling her an asshole. It was Chrissie who used that term.

    Do we really want to go down the path where we say that it’s okay to rough up and arrest people for calling someone names? I mean, really? The guy is a fucking cop, and he can’t deal with someone calling him an asshole? Shit, I’ve had customers call me a hell of a lot worse than that, and I never felt like they needed to be arrested for it.

  13. Cara
    Cara July 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm |

    Things I love: that every time we have a thread about police brutality, some asshat shows up defending why in this case, the brutality totally was justified.

    RP is now on mod, for being said asshat. Because I said so. It’s up to Jill of course whether or not the comments which go to mod on her thread get approved.

    But I do strongly suggest that you don’t feed the troll.

  14. RP
    RP July 2, 2009 at 7:56 pm |

    Things I don’t love: Defending someone who I believe is being falsely accused by presenting the facts as I know them and being called an “asshat” and having my comments closely moderated/censored.

    Feel free to delete or ignore my posts, but that says more about you, Cara, than it does about anything else.

    Incidentally, someone who claims to be close to Chrissie has posted the below comment on another blog. You may want to consider that it’s true before you continue to smear someone who may be 100% innocent of any wrongdoing.

    CRS_adah wrote:
    Congratulations and apologies, NYC, for inheriting one of DC’s most beloved nutjobs. Good luck with Ms. Brodigan – trust me, you’ll need it.

    Do a little digging and you will find many a past associate, both personal and professional, who will tell you stories about this woman that are fairly unbelievable at worst, extremely sad at best.

    The unfortunate part of this story is that this police officer MAY have been completely out of line. I consider myself a feminist, and if there is a grain of truth to the reports of his actions, he should be dealt with immediately by his supervisors.

    But speaking as someone with a personal history witnessing the crazy that is Ms. Brodigan: as many times as she has “cried wolf” or acted inappropriately … I believe every word these witnesses say about her anti-Semitic remarks.

    Please, someone in Ms. Brodgian’s family or circle of friends; get her the mental help she needs.
    7/2/2009 4:35 PM EDT
    Recommend (3)

  15. Alyssa
    Alyssa July 2, 2009 at 8:06 pm |

    RP: I looked at the post that was linked here and looked up the NY post article. You state a lot of facts here that were in neither of these articles. If you know something that the rest of us don’t, please link.

    -The fact that she can’t remember details doesn’t mean anything. When tensions run high, and things escalate quickly, it is common for an individual to take a while to sort out the details. This does not mean she is lying or telling the truth… it means nothing. (Incidently expecting a person to perfectly recall details of an abusive situation is often used as a way to silence a victim.)

    -The fact that she is speaking out in interviews does not mean she is lying. Like not remembering details, it means exactly nothing.

    -You speak like there are hundreds of pictures of the incident and none of the alleged breast grabbing. I count 3 total pictures of the incident. But you question is still valid: why aren’t there any pictures of the alleged breast grabbing? I don’t know, perhaps the guy’s camera doesn’t have a super fast shutter speed (It’s hard to catch something that happens in a matter of seconds especially if you don’t have prior warning), perhaps, he just though it was cruel to passively stand by taking pictures. The point is there are only three pictures of the incident. It is conceivable that he just didn’t get a picture at the right moment.

    -The idea that the bruises under her arms came from the cop helping her stand up does not hold water. I (and most healthy people) can get up from a sitting position by myself without using my hands. Even if he did help there is no reason he would have to pull with such force to cause bruises.

    -Really you see her in an aggressive stance? While I agree that cops look passive, I see her as looking defensive not aggressive. But that is a moot point anyway, since many people get aggressive without hurting anyone, and yet others hurt people while remaining cool and in control.

    My point is that there just isn’t enough information yet. You’re right that we shouldn’t rush to be judge, jury and executioner for this cop. But we also need to extend this same curiosity to Ms. Brodigan. With only three photos, witnesses that disagree about what happened, and two stories that don’t match up, we simply don’t know where the truth lies.

  16. Rebecca
    Rebecca July 2, 2009 at 8:43 pm |

    “If you’re going to act like a woman I’m going to treat you like a woman”…”Do you wanna talk like a woman? Do you wanna get knocked around like a woman?”

    “act like a lady and I’ll treat you like a lady”

    One of these things is not like the other…

  17. Jenn
    Jenn July 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm |

    I’ve grown up Jewish, and was Bat Mitzvahed in the a Hasidic congregation: the Chabad. People have spoken Yiddish all around me all my life. “Mensch” does not mean “woman”, and it never has and never will. I’ve always heard it used in the context of someone who is honorable, charitable and agreeable. Such as “Moshe helped me carry my groceries up to my flat. That boy is always such a mensch.”

    If the officer meant to say something to the equivalent of “if you’re going to act like a mensch, I’m going to treat you like a mensch,” his comment would make absolutely no sense. A Mensch is someone who is agreeable, so treating someone like a mensch would be treating them with respect and honor — which this cop plainly did not do.

    Also, the officer’s religious beliefs are interesting in this case. Hasidic Jews treat women like lesser human beings — this I know first hand from my years in a traditional Hasidic congregation. We have to sit separately from the men in services (in order not to “distract” them from their prayer), we cannot touch the Torah (our holy book), and marriages are routinely arranged. Our menses render us “unclean” and require us to sit on chairs that others will not sit on after we do. We have to clean ourselves after the menses in the mikvah — a traditional bath that is supposed to sanitize the unholy or unclean.

    If his remarks and his treatment of her are as misogynistic as the reports I’ve read claim, his religious beliefs might very well be the source of the attitudes. Interestingly, he is also the first Hasidic officer in NYC. I fear that he will have tainted the chances of other Hasids from joining the force if they so choose.

    Police officers have a duty to separate their beliefs from their duty. This officer clearly did not.

  18. chava
    chava July 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm |

    Jenn–

    How did you have a bat mitzvah as a Lubavitcher? Unless you mean your family just had a private simcha of some sort?

    Anyway, I had some similar thoughts to yours, especially when I saw how the woman was dresses vs. a vs. what Hasids consider tzinut.

  19. chava
    chava July 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm |

    “dressed,” not “dresses.” Sigh

  20. gabbble
    gabbble July 3, 2009 at 8:40 am |

    Before we rush to judge, how about we agree we don’t know enough about the story to make reliable judgements about the participants?

  21. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl July 3, 2009 at 10:39 am |

    I have my own misgivings vis-a-vis Ultra Orthodox/Hasidic Judaism having spent a lot of time living in the Lubavitch community in London and identifying as a feminist, but Chava and Jenn, I have never felt treated as ‘less than human’ or ‘sub-human’. Different from the men, sure, but not lesser in any way.

    If your experience differs, well that’s fine too. But please do not project your beliefs onto a highly-charged, highly-contested situation in order to ‘explain’ the motivation for Witriol’s alleged behaviour. There will surely be enough mud to sling around when the facts are are actually ascertained, than surmising (quite offensively in fact) beforehand.

  22. Unree
    Unree July 3, 2009 at 10:49 am |

    chava, I took Jenn to be saying Chabad not Lubavitcher–i.e. an outreachy congregation led by the ultra-orthodox but populated by Jews of varying levels of observance.

    As for the story,


    Congratulations and apologies, NYC, for inheriting one of DC’s most beloved nutjobs. Good luck with Ms. Brodigan – trust me, you’ll need it.

    Anyone with an Internet connection can call itself CRS_adah and say the complainant’s one of those crazy wimminz. Like Alyssa, I need a link. Until then I’m reminded of Senator Alan Simpson in 1992 saying he’d received no end of faxes and letters, which unfortunately he couldn’t share with us Americans, saying Anita Hill was a lunatic.

  23. chava
    chava July 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm |

    WestEndGirl–

    So, I don’t want to turn this into a forum on haredi Judaism. OTOH, as I said, if we are looking at this through the prism of “OK, what possible factors could be at work here,” I do think you need to examine both that this officer is a minority in a conflict with what appears to be a white middle class woman, and give him the benefit of the doubt there—but also to bear in mind that the officer comes from a certain culture which has very particular ideas about women.

    The “different but not lesser” line of reasoning you mention works for many Orthodox women who self identify as feminist. I disagree with that reasoning, but if it floats your boat it floats your boat. That doesn’t change the fact that in the Hasidic communities in New York (Satmar or Lubavitch, although the Satmar are stricter), there are some very troubling mores at work regarding women–many of which are cultural rather than religious. I lived in one of those communities for a year, so I feel like I can speak with some experience. With respect, I imagine the London community may be a bit different.

    Unree–even if Jenn was, say, a more Reform leaning Jew taken in by Chabad, they still would not do a bat mitzvah for her. She would have to go to a different congregation for that.

  24. chava
    chava July 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm |

    In addition–

    Of course we don’t have enough information yet. If we did, well, there would really be no need for this thread. I think as long as we attempt to keep our speculation polite and thoughtful, it’s really quite fine…

  25. Jenn
    Jenn July 4, 2009 at 12:50 am |

    Wait, chavam so you said that they wouldn’t do a Bat Mitzvah for me… but I just said they did. Are you insinuating that I’m lying? I didn’t read from the Torah, sure, but I did read from the Talmud.

    As far as being a Reform Jew, uh, no. I was Orthodox from my early childhood until adulthood. My grandmother–a conservative Jew–was upset at the choice my mother made to embrace Orthodox Judaism when I was younger and insisted on me having a Bat Mitzvah. Since our rabbi had done similar things for the reform girls that went to our Sunday school–the only Jewish sunday school in the area–he did the same for me too.

    From what I’ve read of the officer’s remarks, they sound quite misogynist. And from my time in an Orthodox congregation–being raised in it–I can say definitively that the attitudes of the men towards women that are too outspoken or independent are deplorable and eerily similar. If you’re a good woman and cover your body and obey your father, then you’re separate but “equal”, if you seriously want to think that not being included in religious services is “equality”. Otherwise, rumors and such follow you everywhere. If you’re too outspoken and uppity, they might even arrange the Jewish equivalent of an exorcism, because a woman shouldn’t have opinions of her own unless she’s possessed by something. I’ve had friends who I grew up with get disowned for marrying people who weren’t Jewish. So WestEndGirl’s idea of the Hasids’ treatment of women is quite rosy compared to my experience.

    The culture at large is really quite shitty towards women, and that’s all that it takes for a lot of men–religious or not–to be misogynists. My point is that the commenter on the linked thread who tried to justify his remarks with a comparison to Yiddish is being deliberately obtuse. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where his misogyny came from, as long as his comments reveal what he thinks about women is creating a situation in which he abuses his power.

  26. gabbble
    gabbble July 4, 2009 at 5:27 am |

    chava says:

    Of course we don’t have enough information yet. If we did, well, there would really be no need for this thread. I think as long as we attempt to keep our speculation polite and thoughtful, it’s really quite fine…

    The problem is this kind of thread attracts impolite speculation and airing of prejudices! And it drags people’s names through the mud (it will affect the results for google searches on their names). This kind of speculation isn’t idle.

  27. Sen
    Sen July 4, 2009 at 8:11 am |

    I’m a feminist who is also usually sympathetic to police officers being convicted of various wrongdoings in the court of public opinion when there is no evidence or reason to do so. There are those who demonize police for doing nothing more than enforcing the law in a fair and compassionate manner (as a Canadian, though, I realize many others have had far less positive experiences with police who deserve all the ire and critisizm we can muster.)

    All that being said, though, I receive verbal abuse and threats worse than “asshole” on a fairly regular basis and I’m just a security guard with a non-threatening stature who makes 12$ an hour. While working, I have met many police officers and made a few arrests myself. I don’t know anyone in a uniform who would blink at anything anyone could say other than perhaps direct threats of violence. I’ve also seen a couple of arrests involving agitated suspects who were being directly violent towards the arresting officers, and some of the scuffles have become fairly intense, but no one was ever injured in any way.

    These experiences make it hard for me to believe that the officer was behaving professionally and was using as little force as required (as that is assuming that he even had legal justification to make the arrest- I’m not familiar with US laws, but Roy made some good points upthread). Basically, I’m not sympathetic to arguments that relate in any way to “verbal abuse” or “hurling insults”. That is the job. I’ve been called a “cunt” and a “bitch” and I’ve seen a black officer behave with professional amusement when arresting a purse-snatching skinhead screaming the “N” word at him, to name a few examples. That absolutely goes with the job (even a cheesy version of it, like mine- I write parking tickets for the municipality in case your wondering why I hear so many insults). Appologies for the lengthy rant.

  28. William
    William July 6, 2009 at 10:38 am |

    The problem is this kind of thread attracts impolite speculation and airing of prejudices! And it drags people’s names through the mud (it will affect the results for google searches on their names). This kind of speculation isn’t idle.

    Look, we can make a reliable judgement without knowing any of the window dressing because it doesn’t matter. The absolute bottom line is that, at worst, the woman in question might have committed a trivial and ticketable offense which had ended. The point of not allowing animals outside of carriers is for the comfort of other passengers, she was on her way out, the point is then moot. Regardless of how she may or may not have acted, the response was out of line. She could have goose stepped around the officer reciting passages from Mein Kampf and it wouldn’t have changed the fundamental facts here at all. The officer is an officer, he has a badge and a belt full of weapons, he is granted the authority to make arrests and use force in order to ensure compliance. That level of power demands that the people who hold it adhere to a higher standard of behavior. Regardless of what the woman might have said, it was the officer’s responsibility to remain calm and professional. It was his responsibility to use good judgement. If he cannot maintain that level of behavior, he does not deserve to continue being a police officer, much less have his little temper tantrum defended.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but if this woman did say something which caused the officer to use force, then she isn’t the one who ought to be heading to jail. The power differential in this situation was extreme on virtually every level. Any use of force outside of self defense was out of line regardless of what precipitants might have been present.

  29. chava
    chava July 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm |

    Jenn:

    Um, noooo. I was just curious because what I got from your post didn’t match up with what I’ve experienced with Chabad, so I thought perhaps I misunderstood something or missed a detail. Your comment about your Conservative grandmother makes it make perfect sense–although I wish the Chabad rabbis where I grew up were that lenient re: bat mitzvah.

  30. chava
    chava July 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm |

    William–

    I generally agree with you, but I do think that the power differential is mitigated by the race and class of both parties. I’m not sure that so many people would have stopped to witness/help if Ms. Bronigan had been black or Latina, for example (I wish it were so, but I doubt it).

    She also may have physically attacked him and the bruises were a result of his trying to subdue that attack with minimum force. I’m not enough of an expert to guess if that’s likely from the photos, but it might be the case.

    I do enjoy the goose stepping example, though.

  31. Julia
    Julia July 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm |

    I know this person. I’ve worked with her. She’s dangerously unbalanced and excellent at writing up her own spin on matters and getting other people to believe it. She’s been committed to Bellevue for an incident after being fired when she freaked out and went ballistic on a doorman and security guard who just wanted her to leave the building. She has a health condition (which she has freely admitted to in another article) which causes spontaneous bruising. They happen without anyone touching her, so if they had to lift her off the ground she knew bruising would occur.

    Chrissie has been searching for people to sue for a few years. She creates blown out of proportion incidents and then writes her own history. For example, she claims to have studied the history of oppressed people her entire life. Uh – not according to her resume. She claimed then that she studied the history of new media and never finished her phd on the history of flight attendants. There are real victims in this world, but this woman is not one of them. The real victim will be her next employer and the unfortunate people she inflicts herself on. Not to mention those poor pugs, who with naturally difficulties with breathing (due to their mushed up little snouts) don’t fare well when squashed into a person’s big satchel pocketbook.

  32. Animal Lover
    Animal Lover July 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm |

    It is really inappropriate and downright cruel to bring a poor animal on the NYC subway in summertime, where the temperature can easily be 10 + degrees warmer than what it is above ground. Also I would like to point out it is extremely noisey and the train ride is jerkey. It is no big surprise the poor dog got sick.

    Also, for those of you unfamiliar with our subway system, it is crowded and the people are in constant motion–always in a hurry. The laws requiring animals to be in carriers are for the public safety and I might add to protect the animal too. She could have easily lost control of her dog, who was probably not in the best of moods–overheated and scared from all the noise–and the animal could have been further injured. Forget Chrissie for a minute and consider the same situation if it was not a Pug, but a sick, scared Pitt Bull instead. No one wants dog puke on them, nor do they want a dog bite, nor to see a dog injured. So, for it to work, the law has to be enforced equally, EVEN for Chrissie and HER Pug. She doesn’t get a free pass because she is so special.

    It is totally unbelievable that the officer involved went from 0 to arresting her without some behavior warranting such on Chrissie Brodigan’s part. While NYC cops can be incredibly callous, racist and generally fucked up, they also have alot of SHIT to deal with and have their limits too. Most of us NYers get this concept and when dealing with the Police, we don’t act a fool and as mellow as possibe–we STFU and take the summons and go on with our lives. If Chrissie didn’t agree, she could have fought her summons at a hearing.

    I am by no means an apologist for Cops–in an ideal world they would be good and fair–unfortunately this is NYC reality. This city is TOTALLY corrupt and the cops are no exception. Chrissie Brodigan CHOSE to transplant herself right in the middle of it. To me this is not a question of misogyny and power differentials THOSE ARE A GIVEN in this city and most of us use better discretion when chosing our battles. Instead this incident and the way Chrissie Brodigan handled it is quite disturbing. How can someone be so totally disengaged from the reality of her environment? How can someone purport to rescue Pugs and then endanger their wellbeing by taking them on the hot, noisey subway? Why has she created this circus around a simple summons? As someone else pointed out, her story keeps “evolving”. To me she is fishing for sympathy.

  33. Clovis
    Clovis July 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |

    “If you’re going to act like a woman I’m going to treat you like a woman”

    First thing that popped into my head was “What elicited this response?”

    Perhaps she said something like “You can’t do this to me, I’m a woman” in her panicked reaction to being arrested/questioned. Mere speculation, but more plausible than the later embellishments.

    She does feminism no favors here, what with the “I may have … ” and “It could’ve been” statements that remind me of the fainting couch outside of Larry Summers’ lectures.

    Jumping the gun does you no favors either.

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