Nov. 26, 2019 By Kristen Torres
Scores of Queens residents were outraged when a photo of a New York Police Department officer wearing a Trump lanyard in a Jackson Heights bar circulated on Facebook this week.
The photo was posted to the Jackson Heights Facebook group by user Jose Notion, who posted the photo with the caption, “So NYPD 115th officers allowed to wear their political alignment while on duty?”
The officer — who is a member of the NYPD’s Vice Squad — was part of a police group that disrupted a party at El Tucanazo bar around midnight Sunday for a routine check-in, according to a statement by State Senator Jessica Ramos.
The bar, located at 83-17 Roosevelt Ave., is a popular venue for members of the transgender and queer community.
The Vice Squad is a special division of NYPD that focuses on crimes such as gambling, prostitution and the illegal sale of alcohol.
Many residents commented on the Facebook post, questioning the legality of the officer’s actions, with one user writing “I thought this was illegal,” and another saying that an officer “serves the law and the constitution, not a party.”
Ramos commented on the post, saying that the officer wearing the lanyard was not in compliance with NYPD policy. “For the record, the lanyard is against NYPD regulations and the police officer is a member of the Vice Squad not any of our local precincts.”
Ramos later posted a statement about the incident to her own Facebook page. She said the check-in “turned into an act of intimidation toward transgender, gender non-conforming, queer, black, indigenous, brown and undocumented people — those who are most marginalized by our society.”
She continued, “This was not just any party. It was a safe space for our LatinX queer youth.”
Ramos said the NYPD Vice Squad has a deep history of corruption and said the division should be shut down until it’s properly investigated by the city.
“This is yet another example of how the NYPD Vice Squad has terrorized our LGBTQIA community, especially in my district areas of Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst,” Ramos said.