Last week, the story of a 21-year-old female student who was arrested and held by NYPD for 36 hours for not carrying ID outraged many people—even if the arresting officers didn't do anything explicitly illegal, most agreed it was an unnecessary and unwarranted abuse of power, and the fact that none of the officers stepped up to let Samantha Zucker free during her 36 hour ordeal was even worse. But now the NY Times reports that the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association can explain what happened: Zucker was just a casualty of the ticket-fixing scandal.

Ed Mullins, president of the SBA, said that Zucker's arrest was direct blowback from the massive ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx, which has led to 16 officers being indicted on various charges. “No one wanted to get involved in making a change where a summons was involved because of everything going on in the Bronx. She fell victim to it. That’s what I am being told,” Mullins told them. Mullins does agree with the judge who tossed out the case in less than a minute: “This thing should have been tossed out the door.”

Zucker, a visiting student from Carnegie Melon University looking for jobs in the city, was caught by police with a friend while walking in Riverside Park after its 1 a.m. closing. The students were given tickets for trespassing, but when Zucker couldn't produce her ID (which was two blocks away at her hotel), she was handcuffed and locked up for the next 36 hours—she said she was mocked by the arresting officer (Police Officer Durrell of the 26th Precinct), and shuffled between two stations three times.

“Technically, they violated the law, and the department policy is if you don’t have ID, we put you into the system,” Mullins said, adding, “Common sense has to come into it...No one makes the call to let this slide because of the whole summons thing,” he concluded. Zucker was furious at that explanation though: “They knew it was wrong and did nothing?” She summed up the tension in the situation eloquently: "I understand that the N.Y.P.D. strives for unity and works toward a sense of brotherhood, but brothers do more than cover each other’s backs...There’s a fine line between brotherhood and thuggery, and the N.Y.P.D. is teetering on it."