Target: New York City Police Commissioner, William Bratton
Goal: Compensate hungry residents for fresh produce callously thrown out by police after arresting food vendor.
The New York Police Department destroyed $8,000 worth of fresh produce. Sanitation workers were told by the NYPD to dump the fruits and vegetable of an unlicensed produce vendor in the trash. The officers demonstrated more interest in utilizing fear tactics rather than feed its starving residents.
According to the New York Post, the owner of the produce stand had been cited repeatedly for unlicensed vending, sidewalk obstruction, and more than $60,000 in fines. Still, wasting perfectly consumable, fresh produce was uncalled for and wrong. According to the owner of the produce stand, the sanitation workers threw out 52 boxes of perfectly good to eat and fresh cherries and other produce like lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, grapefruit, pears, and Mandarin oranges. The food could have gone to the food pantries and soup kitchens that feed some 1.4 million New Yorkers across the city.
While the owner of the produce stand was not abiding by the law, the issue of wasting food is a crime by the NYPD. Wasting so much perfectly good, edible, and healthy food is a direct slap in the face to New York’s hungriest residents. The mayor, Bill De Blasio, only commented on the NYPD’s actions after the video of the incident went viral.
Compensating the local charities for the loss of healthy and fresh food options should not be difficult to fit in the NYPD’s $4.8 billion budget. Demand that the NYPD provide $8,000 worth of fresh produce to New York’s local soup kitchens and food pantries.
Dear Commissioner Bratton,
About 1.4 million starving New York residents were essentially robbed when the NYPD ordered hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to be thrown away. The food, taken from a street vendor, could have been confiscated and donated to New York’s local soup kitchens and food pantries but, instead, it was ignorantly thrown into the back of open garbage trucks and wasted.
The wasted produce included cherries, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, grapefruit, pears, and Mandarin oranges. Those that could have benefitted from the fresh produce should receive an apology through fair and equal compensation in fresh produce. Although this will not reverse the wastefulness, it can alleviate some of the disrespect and distrust that New Yorkers now feel toward their mob-like police force.
Redefine the NYPD as a force interested in the people’s best interest, not in wasteful fear tactics to obtain fines. I demand that the NYPD apologize to New Yorkers by providing $8,000 worth of fresh produce to New York’s local soup kitchens and food pantries.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Patrick Feller