Retired Pa. cop arrested at Occupy demonstration

Retired Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis was dressed in full uniform


By Stephanie Farr
The Philadelphia Daily News

NEW YORK — In full uniform and with his head held high, a retired Philadelphia police captain was arrested in New York yesterday while participating in an Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

Ray Lewis — who left the Philadelphia department in 2004 after serving as captain of the 25th Police District, headquartered at Front and Westmoreland streets — reportedly was among more than 170 protesters who were arrested.

Several representatives with the NYPD's public-information office said they could not confirm Lewis' arrest because there were so many people taken into custody who had not yet been processed.

The arrests and demonstrations came on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Demonstrations raged across the country yesterday as part of a "national day of action."

Chanting "All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!" more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered near the New York Stock Exchange and staged sit-ins at several intersections.

Helmeted police broke up some of the clusters, but most of the crowd reassembled in Zuccotti Park, where the encampment that served as the unofficial headquarters of the Occupy movement was broken up by police earlier this week in an early-morning raid. Protesters later streamed toward the Brooklyn Bridge, where dozens more were arrested.

Lewis joined the protest at Zuccotti Park in his uniform Tuesday night, according to the New York Observer.

In a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Lewis said that police are "just workers for the 1 percent, and they don't even realize they're being exploited."

"They're trying to get me arrested, and I may disappear, OK," Lewis said. "But as soon as I get out of jail, I'll be right back here."

In photos posted to Twitter yesterday morning, Lewis is seen at the protest holding up an orange sign that read "NYPD Don't Be Wall Street Mercenaries."
In a video of Lewis' arrest posted later yesterday, he is being led away in plastic handcuffs to boos and cheers from the crowd.

A Philadelphia police spokeswoman said that although it is not against department policy for a retired police officer to wear his old uniform, it violates state law.

"It's like impersonating a police officer, even though he's retired," the spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for the NYPD said that he did not know if it was against New York state law and that he could not find out because everyone in the department's legal office was at Occupy Wall Street.

Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC

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