Dozens called foul in Flushing, Queens on Saturday, unable to cross Main Street due to a parade of nearly 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners protesting persecution in China.
Police refused to allow onlookers to cut across the rally, saying only they might be held for up to 45 minutes.
“I had to be somewhere at 12:30,” cried one lady.
A little boy clamoring at the metal gates set up to contain the crowds implored, “I have to pee!” “Then go find a washroom,” said the visibly irritated officer.
Another cop, when asked by a woman who appeared to be sporting a mild bloat, whether he was seriously going to make her go around the long way, replied only, “Sorry ma’am, I really couldn’t tell.”
The same officer was later seen rolling his eyes, calling the anxious pedestrians “disrespectful and impatient.”
Growing tensions between civilians and the NYPD were tempered when a man with flair and pizazz arrived on scene.
Natalie McMullen is a street photographer, culture critic and food writer. She is an archivist of the resonant, a nerdy polisher of words, and a lifelong scholar on love and relationships. She is currently resident photographer at The Awl.