Costumed Beggars vs. Costumed Bullies: Which are Worse?

by Will

Liberty Minute July 31 2014

New York?s Times Square is in habited with costumed characters who pose for photos with tourists in exchange for tips. These street performers have no way to compel people to pay them.

The street performers are outnumbered by another costumed troupe called police officers; they routinely issue citations to people accused of committing trivial infractions of ordinances that have little if any connection to the protection of persons or property. Unlike the costumed street performers, however, police do issue demands for payment and will track down and use violence against people who refuse those demands.

Recently a New York cop confronted a street performer named Junior Bishop, who was dressed as Spiderman. Bishop was supposedly ?shaking down tourists for cash? ? although witnesses say he was politely asking for tips. When the officer tried to arrest Bishop, the performer was compliant ? until, witnesses said, the officer went for his throat. Given the recent death of Eric Garner following an NYPD chokehold, Bishop understandably was in fear for his life, so he fought back.

Cops and their media allies described Bishop as a ?beggar.? His fellow performers insist that the officer is a bully. Assuming that both descriptions are accurate, which is a greater potential threat to the public?

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

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