A white, vegan, 22-year-old woman from Essex, N.J. is suing the New York Police Department after she was allegedly stopped, frisked and partially strip-searched for no good reason under the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
In a federal lawsuit filed this week in Brooklyn, Bard College graduate (and environmental rights major) Samantha Rosenbaum claims that NYPD officers threw her against an unmarked police car on July 17, 2012, reports the New York Post.
The alleged incident occurred in the middle of the day in the hipster haven of Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood just across the river from Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
At the time, Rosenbaum was an intern at Vaute Couture, a vegan clothing store on Grand Street in Williamsburg dedicated to producing a line of clothing that is “flattering” and “cruelty free.”
She was on her way back to the store from the post office when, she claims in the suit, she took time to engage with a kitten behind a gate.
A plain-clothed man inside a gold vehicle allegedly bellowed, “Hey! Stop!”
When Rosenbaum kept walking, the man and a woman ran over and yelled at her for not stopping. They also asked her if she had any 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.”
According to the suit, a female NYPD officer lifted up Rosenbaum’s tank top and looked inside her bra, apparently searching for drugs. The cops also looked in her underwear.
“My face and stomach were on the hood,” said Rosenbaum, who is 5-foot-1 and weighs 110 pounds.
“Multiple times, the defendant officers threatened to take plaintiff down to the police station and write her up for [a] felony,” the suit alleges.
At some point, the roughed-up Rosenbaum began to cry.
“I don’t think anyone, no matter what color you are, deserves to be treated like that,” the diminutive vegan told the Post.
“She thought she was getting kidnapped,” her attorney, Michael Goldstein, added.