This is Rick, the NYPD “Hipster Cop.” I briefly met this guy while reporting on the Occupy Wall Street Radiohead concert that never happened. He was standing next to the Occupy Wall Street spokesman who had told me over and over that day that Radiohead would definitely be playing no matter what their publicist said, just come down.
When I met him, Hipster Cop was wearing a bright red Mister Rogers cardigan and a white button down with a clipped tie, grey wool slacks and spotless oxfords, a smirk on his face. He was the most sharply-dressed guy I had seen pretty much all week, and I work in Soho. Hipster Cop almost looked too well-dressed to be a Radiohead fan; like, maybe he only listened to LPs of obscure Japanese bands from the 80s. But I asked if he was bummed about Radiohead’s no-show: “They’re finished,” he joked. “Nobody’s going to listen to their music anymore.”
But he was a cop! Which I learned when he flashed a badge hooked discreetly onto his belt and shooed away the uniformed officer who eventually came over to move us from the street where we were chatting onto the sidewalk. You could tell she was embarrassed; guess he’s like that cool detective at the police station that nobody wants to talk to about movies or music or anything ‘cause he’ll scoff at them.
Since then, Hipster Cop has become sort of a meme at Occupy Wall Street. This woman even called him “infamous.”
What if all cops looked like this? What if pepper-spray cop Anthony Bologna looked like this? What if, during the 2008 NYC Republican Convention, CNN broadcast live footage of dozens of hipster cops charging through the tear gas behind riot shields with Pavement bumper stickers on them, beating protesters with vintage 1920s nightsticks they picked up at the thrift store, precisely-clipped ties fluttering behind them?
Update: This NYU student, Brett Chamberlain, just tweeted to me that Hipster Cop asked him out to dinner.
No joke he asked me out to dinner. his name is Rick btw. Community affairs / detective with #NYPD precinct 1. I told him if he saw me in cuffs and let me out I would go to dinner with him. He missed his chance when I got arrested.
I don’t know… It’s almost too good to be true. Gay hipster cop finds love at the anti-capitalist protest? #OccupyMyHeart
(pic via Lucy Kafanov)