The Belleville Police Department is being sued by Adam C. Weinstein after he was arrested for wearing a shirt with “POLICE�? written across the front. The man claims the police physically and verbally abused him during the arrest, and that his constitutional rights were violated. Read more, and see photo of Adam Weinstein Story below.
Belleville Police Officer Jeff Vernatti got a little carried away one night at a bar with a patron. The story goes, that the policeman told a waitress that he wanted to speak with Mr. Weinstein outside.
Weinstein claims he was asked for police credentials because of the shirt he was wearing. He said he had none because he wasn’t an officer. He claims he was then physically and verbally assaulted by Vernatti who was screaming profanities at him. He was arrested for impersonating an officer.
However, Weinstein is a fireman. He got the shirt from a uniform supply store where he was getting clothes for his own job.
One wonders how many people would be arrested if this type of standard was applied across the country, especially considering how many people wear NYPD hats. Maybe Sting should be arrested for calling his band “The Police.�? In reality, impersonating an officer takes more of an overt action.
Wearing a shirt with the word police on it is probably a form of protected speech. It would probably take a person saying they were police, or acting in such a manner, for the charge to stick.