A New York City photographer was tackled by officers, arrested and humiliated on a gay beach after his ‘towel slipped’ and he was nude.
Krys Fox had been spending his 4th of July holiday on Riis Beach in Queens, an area known as a safe place for LGBTI people and its tolerance of nude sunbathers.
But when Fox was photographing a friend, Fox found himself surroudned by police officers.
‘I thought it was a clothing optional beach,’ Fox said, according to DNA Info, who said he was tackled by undercover National Park Service officers who he claimed didn’t say a word until after they shoved his face into the sand.
‘They shoved my face in the sand in front of hundreds of people, I was humiliated,” he said. “I got an arm around my neck and they threw me to the floor and was literally surrounded by like 11 cops.
‘They didn’t read me my rights, they handcuffed me.’
Fox was carried off by the beach by a group of officers. In video, you can hear him scream ‘Help me! Please help me! Film this!’
The photographer, who had been working on a tribute series for Orlando victims, described it as ‘the worst moment of my life’.
NPS officials said a plainclothes officer observed Fox nude and standing by the fence and went over to ask him to cover up. They said he refused to do so, and did not have ID, and the officer arrested Fox after he became ‘uncooperative’.
Fox, who spent three hours in a jail cell after the arrest, was charged with disorderly conduct and public nudity. He will be asked to pay a fine or appear in federal court.
In a statement, NY State Senator Brad Hoylman said: ‘Jacob Riis Park has been a safe and peaceful haven for LGBT beachgoers for decades. I find any harassment of beachgoers at Jacob Riis and the overwhelming display of force demonstrated by the United States Park Police yesterday to be utterly repugnant.
‘It also seems to be an enormous diversion of resources. I’d hazard a guess that our police have more pressing concerns in this day and age than arresting a nude sunbather at a gay beach.
‘The National Parks Police should be ashamed. Just last week we designated Stonewall as a National Monument. Based on news accounts, I hope the police apologize to Mr. Fox and any pending charges against him are dropped.’
Nude sunbathing was made illegal by state law in 1983, but is rarely enforced.
Watch video of the arrest:
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