They're going to change the NY slogan from "The Big Apple" to "The New L.A." for insane laws.
*** Man cited for "unauthorized use" of plastic milk crate ***
NEW YORK (AFP) - As he tells it, Jesse Taveras, 19, stepped out for a breather from the hair-braiding salon where he works and sat down on a plastic milk crate that happened to be sitting on the sidewalk.
A New York City police officer on the Grand Concourse, a main boulevard in the borough of the Bronx, walked up to Taveras and wrote him a ticket citing him for "unauthorized use of a milk crate."
The infraction can carry a fine of up to 105 dollars.
As he told the story to the New York Daily News, Taveras was incredulous.
"I don't believe this," he told the cop, identified only as police officer Payan.
Payan asked Taveras for identification, radioed his name to the local precinct to check for outstanding warrants, found none and gave him the ticket.
To Taveras's protests, Payan reportedly replied, "Don't blame me. Blame Bloomberg," referring to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has ordered a so-called "quality-of-life" crackdown involving writing summonses for minor, but revenue-producing, infractions.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), the police union, asserts that Bloomberg is putting beat cops under pressure to write tickets, meet quotas and fill city coffers.
"The NYPD (New York Police Department) has become a summons machine, generating millions of dollars to close the city's budget gap while eroding the relationship between police and the communities they serve," the PBA said in a statement.
The city government denies these allegations, particularly concerning quotas.
Taveras says he asked Payan what he was doing wrong.
"You're sitting," the policeman reportedly replied. "We have to make our daily quota."
The plastic milk carton on which Taveras had sat bore the imprint of Sunnydale Farms and the words "Use by anyone but registered owner is liable to prosecution, article 17A, General Business Law."
Noting Taveras's bewilderment, Payan's partner waved it off, according to the Daily News, saying: "It's no big deal. The judge will throw it out, anyway."