Watch it, young lady! NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton shared a funny anecdote with reporters on Friday, Oct. 9, about a memorable encounter he had with a college student the previous morning while making his rounds on Wall Street.
According to Bratton, who recalled the incident during a New York Law School breakfast, he was leaving a meeting in the financial district early Thursday when he caught a whiff of something peculiar — and familiar.
“All of a sudden, there it is, that smell,” he said. “I said, ‘What the hell? It’s 8:30 on Wall Street.’”
The 68-year-old police commissioner immediately identified the funky scent as weed, and he and one of his officers honed in on the culprit: a female college student.
“Directly in front of us is this young woman, happily puffing away on her way to one of the local schools,” he told reporters. “So my security officer came up on one side, I came up on the other, and [I] tapped her on the shoulder and she looked over.”
The college student was understandably stunned to see the city’s top cop staring at her in the face.
“I wish I had a photograph of that face,” Bratton said. “She instantly recognized me.”
Though he could have easily arrested the student on the spot, the police commissioner took a different approach, “politely” taking the joint out of the student’s mouth and throwing it into a “local sewer.”
He calmly informed the young woman that “she might have a better academic day without the influence of [pot]” and let her continue on with her day.
“If you’re smoking it in public we will potentially arrest you, but we encourage officers to use the scale they are authorized to use — warning, admonitions, summons, arrest if necessary,” he added.
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