Who is Stephen Spataro? NYPD captain called 'racist piece of s**t' at unruly community meeting

The Greenwich Village community board meeting was over police crackdown on late-night, wild parties inside Washington Square Park


                            Who is Stephen Spataro? NYPD captain called 'racist piece of s**t' at unruly community meeting
Police beneath the archway of Washington Square Park on June 18, 2021 in New York City; Stephen Spataro (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images/[email protected])

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: A New York Police Department (NYPD) captain was branded a “racist piece of s**t” during a Greenwich Village community board meeting on Wednesday night, July 21, which soon turned chaotic as anti-cop protesters screamed at local officials and NYPD officers. 

The protesters were reportedly arguing with officials and older local residents by over police crackdown on late-night, wild parties inside Washington Square Park. They also alleged that police officers often targeted minorities and used excessive strategies to enforce a midnight curfew in the park. Besides, the aggressive participants called NYPD Captain Stephen Spataro, the commanding officer of the 6th precinct, a “racist piece of s**t” who will “go to hell”.

 

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However, Spataro defended the police crackdown and said: “We’re not looking for enforcement. We’d like to get through the night with no arrests, no summonses, we’re there just to make everyone feel safe, but we will [make] arrests when need be. Our goal is that our presence there will deter any issues.”

People party in Washington Square Park on June 18, 2021 in New York City. The gatherings in the park have drawn numerous complaints from the community and led to multiple nights of arrests. (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

Gia Lisa Krahne, a director of Alchemical Studios, an art and theatre business on West 14th Street, claimed herself to be a victim of police brutality. She said she was present in the park after ten in the night when she was victimized. “The captain speaking about the presence of the police, as if this is something that makes everyone feel safe. But they are having a hundred police out there from after 8:30 pm, many times on militarized bicycles. On June 5, I was the first person brutally arrested. I was not there to protest. It was 10:05 pm, and five men pulled me forward, and threw me facedown on the ground, and bloodied my friend that was next to me while I was walking backwards,” Krahne added.

Spataro stood up for the cops and blamed people in the park as he said they were informed they would be taken into custody if they did not follow the curfew.



 

David “Shaman" Ortiz, who said he was behind the recent wave of parties and unlicensed boxing matches, claimed to be doing community service. Ortiz stated, “What we do is we amplify the sound and the communication of the community that’s already been there in Washington Square Park for forever. This park has been around for decades before any of you have even been alive. Artists have been flocking there for centuries. This is a place of community. This is a place to be, a place of welcome. And yes, I was arrested for this. And yes, just three days ago my case was dismissed for being arrested for amplified sound. Wanna know why? Cuz it’s bull.”

A man is arrested after pulling a taser on partygoers causing a scuffle and injuring at least one woman on June 18, 2021 in New York City. The parties in Washington Square Park have drawn numerous complaints from the community and led to multiple nights of arrests. (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old also ran up towards panel members and screamed in their faces. Georgia Silvera Seamans, of the Parks/Waterfront Committee, reacted to his rowdy behavior and said, “I know I’m out of turn, according to the Bluebook rules, but I just found what you did to be very intimidating, coming straight at me. I did not appreciate that and I thought it was incredibly rude and intimidating and I just wanted you to know that.”

There were many who spoke against the demonstrators. Sixty nine-year-old local resident Bill Warren said, “There’s been plenty of irrational stuff going on. I’d like to think I’m being reasonable; I think most of us would like to be reasonable. It’s not reasonable to have 200 decibels at 2 am every night.” Another resident Mary Quinlan added, “I have lived in this neighborhood for 45 years, I don’t walk near that park now. I stopped doing that probably about five or six months ago because I was so disturbed by what I was seeing here, and the things that I was hearing from the neighborhood.”

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