Two of the four female police officers who posed for a picture with a semi-nude male stripper while in uniform have now been demoted.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) officers had worked as neighbourhood coordinating officers under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ‘neighbourhood policing’ initiative.
However, they have now been placed back on regular patrol after their photograph was taken with an exotic dancer known as ‘Messiah.’
The women – who are assigned to the 33rd Precinct’s Sector D – will now reportedly have their police powers limited to taking 911 calls in radio cars.
The picture in question was taken during an NYPD community outreach program, during which the officers spent time meeting local residents and community members within a particular sector.
Scantily clad Messiah had reportedly been entertaining guests at a Mothers Day party at Fort Washington Senior Center in Upper Manhattan.
The photograph in question shows two of the women hugging Messiah, while another points at his g-string. Another male stripper in a sailor hat can be seen standing in the background.
Messiah – whose real name is Jude Menelas – shared the photo on his Instagram page, stating:
I came out, danced around a bit. After that, I started taking pictures with all the elderly ladies, even the ladies in the wheelchairs and with oxygen tanks.
I was about to leave and the officers said, ‘Can we take a picture?’ and that was that. They just wanted to take a picture real quick.
I was killing these ladies at the retirement home!! No!! Seriously, call the paramedics one of the golden girls ain’t gonna make it!?? all jokes aside thank you to these abuelas for showing me love. Let this be a lesson “don’t stop till the casket drop!” Enjoy your life to the fullest always!! #performer #bookme #latinaslikeblackmentoo #gotthatsocialsecuritymoney #grandmother #latingoldengirls
According to the New York Post, NYPD spokesperson Sgt. Jessica McRorie made the following statement when the image first surfaced:
Our officers were not aware that the males in the photo would be present at this event.
The senior center participants encouraged the officers to pose for the picture.
The commanding officer is aware and will address the incident at the precinct level.
Can’t wait to be living in a seniors home. They have way more fun than I do. ?
— Jodi (@In_An_Instant_) June 1, 2018
They never discipline these people when they cause actual harm.
— Cy (@cysinblack) May 30, 2018
Menelas has since expressed disappointment over how the officers have been punished; arguing how the picture served to highlight the cops’ sense of humour and humanity.
Speaking with the New York Post, Menelas said:
I’m very disappointed that they would have to go through this,
They didn’t cross any line at all. They did nothing wrong. It was an innocent picture, when all is said and done.
Menelas, who is from Brooklyn, added:
Every time you see a cop picking up a bat and playing with a kid, or dancing along at a parade — you just need that stuff.
The fact that they are minority women who are doing positive things in the city makes it an even worse situation.
They did nothing to embarrass their shields, their uniform, or me. Nothing at all.
Their demotion has sparked debate on Twitter. Some believed this incident was cause for disciplinary action, while others just saw it as a bit of light-hearted fun.
When we said we needed the police department to police their own, I think were referring to police violence. This pic is…yawn. And if these were male copes with a female stripper, we wouldn‘t be reading about a demotion. They‘d get a warning & hand slap.
— Debbie Davies (@DebbieTDavies) June 30, 2018
Reverse the situation- male cops taking pic with woman stripper. The internet would’ve pounded on it.
I’d like to start seeing cops obeying the law and respecting their shields. I’m not for police officers these day, so I can’t defend these women.
— MISSING_AMERICA⚠️ (@KatyGreen1234) June 29, 2018
Oddly you get a slap on the wrist for brutality caught on video but a demotion for an innocent picture
— Steve-O (@itsSteve_O) June 30, 2018
Do you think these officers should have been demoted? Or do you think the punishment is too severe in this case?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.