Remember the carefree days of Autumn 2011, when Zuccotti Park was a counterculture utopia powered by stationary bicycles and free range chicken? When Detective Rick Lee, the First Precinct Community Affairs officer known as Hipster Cop, posed for GQ and partied with Andy Warhol at Studio 54? Kiss all that goodbye—Zuccotti Park is a sterile ghost of its former self and, as this video shows, the Hipster Cop is getting pretty tired of all this shit.
Shortly before 7 p.m. yesterday, technicians were doing a soundcheck at an outdoor stage at Broadway and Stone street downtown, in preparation for a permitted performance by self-described "protest band" JD Samson & MEN. But it wasn't long before an irate Detective Lee rolled up to harsh the vibes, ordering the sound guys to turn the volume to half its level, and yelling at another Occupy Wall Street rep to "shut up!" Whoa, take it easy on the Red Bull, H.C.:
If it's too loud, does that mean Hipster Cop's too old? As it turns out, Lee is a deceptively older hipster gentleman, age 46. Luckily for the protesters, he could be appeased. After the sound technicians turned the volume down to a more palatable easy-listening level, the show was allowed to go on. But we are a bit concerned that Lee may be suffering early-onset Alzheimer's—as you can see in the video, his ability to keep track of time seems to be deteriorating, with minutes passing like seconds in his mind.
Shane Patrick, the event organizer who served as stage manager, has this to say: "'Hipster Cop' may dress like a reject from a Vampire Weekend cover band but anyone who watches this video can see he's more Andrew Dice Clay than Julian Casablancas. This particular instance of police harassment exemplifies the kind of treatment that New Yorkers have been facing from the police since Occupy Wall Street began... The people he's yelling at and pointing at off camera are members of JD Samson & MEN. He can be seen ordering the guitarist to play for him on command."
To be fair, it was a long day, and when we caught up with Lee at Zuccotti Park after midnight, he was considerably more relaxed, albeit fatigued. "I've been on the job since 7 a.m.," he told us, "And I'm not going home any time soon." (Home, as we've previously reported, is in the decidedly "so out it's in" borough of Staten Island.) And Lee's concern about noise levels seems to have more to do with the "community" he's assigned to police than any personal preference. "Look around," he said, pointing at the surrounding buildings. "This is almost all residential now. Didn't use to be that way." DANCE IRONICALLY MONKEY DANCE!
As for Lee's deceptively youthful appearance, the iconic cop chalked it up to his eight hours of nightly sleep, abstaining from cigarettes and alcohol, and his mostly organic diet. That's right, Hipster Cop is practically straight edge! "Well, I do drink occasionally, socially," Lee admitted. "And I find it flattering I still get carded at bars."