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January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
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New Jersey Jewish Student Sues NY Cops over Immodest Frisk

Swift NY cops jump on a young Jewish woman for an immodest frisk. Her crime? Maybe she was picking up drugs? Or running away from a robbery? No. She was petting a cat – and she is suing the police.
The NYPD policy of search-and-frisk may end up costing it money if a Jewish woman wins her lawsuit after she was immodestly searched - for petting a cat

The NYPD policy of search-and-frisk may end up costing it money if a Jewish woman wins her lawsuit after she was immodestly searched - for petting a cat
Photo Credit: Talkingdrugs.com

Bard College student Samantha Rosenbaum is suing the New York Police Department for carrying out an immodest search while she was walking on a Williamsburg street on  the way from the post office back to her place of work at a store last year.

The suit, reported Thursday by The New York Post, comes amid controversy over Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charge that the police are carrying out a disproportionate number of frisks on white people. A New York Daily News survey published today revealed that the mayor is wrong, but more troubling is the reason for frisks, whether on blacks or whites.

Rosenbaum, age 22 and from Essex, New Jersey, told the newspaper that she loves animals and stopped to pet a cat she noticed in an alley. The plainclothed police, sitting in an unmarked car, apparently did not look at it that way.

“Hey, stop!” a man yelled from his parked car. “He was really aggressive,” Rosenbaum recalled. “I had no idea who he was, [so] I just kept walking.”

That was the obvious tip-off for the two police officers that she was a criminal, and they ran after Rosenbaum and threw her against the car, asking her if she had drugs.

“This whole time, I didn’t know who these people are,” she told the Post. “Finally, after a few minutes, they tell me they are police. My face and stomach were on the hood. I don’t think anyone, no matter what color you are, deserves to be treated like that.

“I offered to show them the cat. They had two people on top of me, and my arm was really hurting.”

Her lawyer Michael Goldstein added,  “She thought she was getting kidnapped. This is a very nice young lady. This was a false arrest and imprisonment. It’s assault.”

The suit alleges that a policewoman who was part of the search-and-frisk team opened her clothing and peeked underneath at private parts of her body.

According to Rosenbaum, the police finally let her go when she started crying after they threatened several times to haul her off to the police station and charge her with a crime,

“They told me they didn’t want me to have a bad impression of cops so they were going to let me go,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

Why would anyone even think of such a thing?

There are plenty who would think so.

The New York Civil Liberties Union found in a survey two years ago, quoted by Slate, “Only 11 percent of stops in 2011 were based on a description of a violent crime suspect.” The rest of them were carried out at random, and most of the victim was found to be innocent.

The numbers are astonishing. Hundreds of thousands of people are stopped every year for frisks that turn out to be needless but which the police justify when they file forms after each search. All a police officer has to write is that a person was “carrying a suspicious object” or “wearing clothes commonly used in a crime,” or was wearing “inappropriate attire for season.”

Or, “The suspect was petting a cat.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

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7 Responses to “New Jersey Jewish Student Sues NY Cops over Immodest Frisk”

  1. Samuel Abbo says:


  2. Samuel Abbo says:


  3. In fairness to the police, it might have been the ducking into the alley that prompted the suspicion – How many people in NY go out of their way enter alleyways and pet stray cats… Still, the incident is unfortunate.

  4. Steve Bell says:

    police need to immediately identify themselves in that scenario… seems like a 'profiling' issue run amok in reverse run amok… police are instructed not to profile folks… so a person that looks like a crook, smells like a crook and acts and dresses and behaves like a crook.. cannot be assumed to be a crook… so conversely, a person.. that looks and acts like a decent law abiding person…. you get it… right?

    What is unfortunate is that the officers may well be remanded for their actions, and or disciplined, wherein the reality is that the problem begins at higher levels on the food chain , where procedural and tactical realities originate, , and at much higher levels, where civil rights to citizens are granted and or denied… My own view is that any law that denies or defies or crucifies the original spirit, letter and intent of the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights amendment is an illegal law. period. No ifs ands or buts.

    I might even go a step further and opine, humbly, that any elected official or officials that write into law any ordinance or regulation that weather intentionally or unintentionally undermines or denies any citizen their full rights as granted to them by our constitution or bill of rights, is themselves a foul of the law and ought to be divested of their authority and held accountable for their actions by the law or the agencies empowered through our constitution to protect and ensure that the rights of our citizens, as granted through our constitution are protected and upheld.

  5. Mark Jacobs says:

    It seems like the only amendment left standing is the second. Stop and frisk violates the 4th. You can say what you like, as long as you're not an activist, which they interpret as potential terrorist. When a politician is around, you have free speech only in a free speech zone. I thought the Constitution designated the US as a free speech zone. The Supreme KKKourt threw out the 5th last week when they said you only have the right to remain silent if you use the right words before the interrogation starts. The 6th 7th and 8th were thrown out in Guantanamo and Abu Graib and probably hundreds of other places housing "illegal combatants". The third seems pretty safe, unless the cops want to sleep in your house. 9 doesn't seem to say much, and 10 is often circumvented by a high income tax which gives the feds enough money to hang funding over the states if they don't pass laws the feds want.

  6. Kathie Sykes says:

    Why do cops like those still have jobs as cops?

  7. Steve Bell says:

    They can just kill you now without bothering to arrest you and give you a trial… as that can prove to be a lot of difficulty… lol They have this little 'chit' in their pocket.. wherein they can say your a terrorist and threatening to do this or that… and they can just put a drone on someone's ass and evaporate them basically… that's all based on suspicion and 'evidence' as defined by who I don't know.. the public is never privy to the 'evidence' as that might reveal 'secrets'.. but they let us know that they have exercised their option to take some one out, poste haste.. or is the information 'leaked' by design.. to pressure critics of the 'gov' into silence? I don't know and I can't remember…. I know I'm wary about speaking my mind.. 'cause I don't who I am… and they just might.. know who I am.. and they might have a different idea of who I am then I or my friends and family and dog do… lol which is what a lot of we see and hear and read about has become dog do…

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