NYPD Detective Rick Lee, the Hipster Cop whose love of Burberry and Ralph Lauren and DIY J.Crew glasses made him an Internet meme, was seen today at Zuccotti Park after the 1 a.m. eviction of Occupy Wall Street's encampment. And Lee says he had no idea the protesters were being swept out.
CityRoom spoke to Lee, who said, "I didn’t know anything about it until I got into work this morning. So much for letting you know - they kept it very hush-hush.... It could have been a lot worse, which nobody really wants. I think it went well, all things considered." He also explained his job getting to know protesters these nearly two months: "You just have to kind of follow them around and get a feel for what they‘re going to do."
The NYPD has allowed Lee to speak with various publications, which is unusual since the police like to control the image of the department, but Ray Kelly probably sees Lee's thoughts on fashion with GQ as a welcome antidote to Tony Baloney.
Lee also told CityRoom that when he observed protesters trying to take Duarte Park at Canal Street and 6th Avenue earlier today, he didn't recognize them, "It was a different group. They were more radical. I tried to talk to them, to get them out, but they weren’t looking to do any kind of talking." Well, maybe that's because he was gone for two weeks: NewYorkist found out this past weekend, "Detective Rick Lee informs he was out sick for two weeks. A serious health matter but he's back now."