Police Commissioner Kelly Downplays Officers’ Dirty Dancing At West Indian Day Parade
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday that he wishes some officers caught on tape getting their groove on at the West Indian Day Parade hadn’t joined in on the provocative dancing but said he also didn’t want to make too much of it.
The raunchy video of the three uniformed police officers has gone viral and prompted an investigation within the NYPD. So far, none of the officers have been accused of breaking any laws.
1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports
The video depicts scantily clad women who were participating in the colorful parade approaching the officers and dancing with them. The officers, who can be seen smiling and laughing, appear to get caught up in the moment.
Kelly told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer it’s not unusual for officers patrolling the parade route to get drawn in to the rowdy spirit of the celebration.
“These young women approached the officers. You know, they didnt go out of their way to, you know, be approached like this,” Kelly said.
Photos: West Indian Day Parade
Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed, saying he’s willing to chalk the entire incident up to bad judgment.
“On the carnival days people get carried away and celebrate in a demonstrative ways. I think it’s also fair to say there’s probably a little bit of poor judgment. We’ll admonish them to be a little more carefull and diplomatic and whatever the right word is you fill it in,” Bloomberg said.
Professor Eugene O’Donnell, of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former cop, told Kramer the Department should use the incident as a teachable moment.
“Certainly there are some snippets there that are going to be things I’m sure the cops wish they could call back, but people are susceptible to that kind of thing when you are in a public role and you are in uniform, so it sort of makes you more of a target,” O’Donnell said.
Oneka Labennett, a professor of African American studies at Fordham, said the interaction of the dancers with the cops was a normal part of the parade.
“I didn’t see it as socially inappropriate, if we think about West Indian dancing and what it signifies. I think when it becomes problematic for us is when we look at it through an American lens,” Labennett said.
Some folks may find the dirty dancing in the video graphic, as little is left to the imagination.
The video has gone viral, and prompted an explosion of comments from viewers.
“I think that is totally wrong. They should’ve been standing by observing. There could’ve been a fight, anything,” Dahlia Clarke told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.
Garmel Martin of Brooklyn is somewhat surprised by the video.
“They do get up on people and dance, but I’ve seen officers walk away,” Martin said. “But that right there, what I just saw, is ridiculous.”
Other folks have a different point of view.
“I see nothing wrong with it,” wrote a commenter on our website who identified himself as “Englishman.” “The guy is having some fun that is why everyone there to have a day of fun,” he wrote.
Commenter “Linda” agreed.
“Good grief, some people really need to lighten up and get a life,” she wrote. “Stop it already, the cops did nothing wrong.”
On our Facebook page, Marilyn Hurtado wrote “When you’re on duty in uniform, this is a no no.”
Elisabeth Kehoe wrote “I think they need to be professional. It seems that it was all in fun, but they took it a little too far.”
We’d like to hear what you think about the video. Sound off in our comments section below.