A Daily News photographer on Thursday captured an NYPD officer patrolling an anti-Trump demonstration wearing a full-on assassin style hood. It’s an apt bit of symbolism during these days of nascent fascism, before our “Law and Order” president officially takes office. But is it against the rules for an armed civil servant to cover his face like a cartoon jewel thief?
Not according to an NYPD spokesman, who told the Daily News that “the cop was in full compliance with department uniform regulations,” despite looking like a Russian cop who’s about to arrest a newspaper owner.
A department policy that allows cops to cover their faces would be ill advised. But what makes the spokesman’s comments even more curious is that the department’s own patrol guide explicitly says they can’t.
Procedure number 204-03 details acceptable, optional uniform items, and very clearly prohibits hoods that cover even part of the face, let alone all of it. That’s paramilitary shit.
“Hoods made of bulky yarns or double knits and those styles which cover any part of the nose, cheeks or mouth are prohibited,” the guide reads.
Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel told the Daily News that in his view, cops clearly can’t wear masks, or cover up nameplates — as some officers reportedly also did — while on patrol.
“Police officers should not, and we believe cannot remove their nameplates, let alone disguise their identity by wearing balaclavas on the job, Siegel said in a letter he signed along with his law partner, Herbert Teitelbaum, to Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
We reached out to the department ourselves to see if they can account for the instructions in the patrol guide, and we’ll update if we hear back.