Adam C. Weinstein, a firefighter, may want to go with a a simple NYFD tee shirt next time. Weinstein was outside a bar in 2006 when he felt hot, so he took off his sweater. Underneath was a tee shirt with “POLICE” on the back. A Belleville, Missouri Police officer Jeff Vernatti arrested Weinstein for impersonating a police officer. Weinstein is now suing.
Fashion Carabinieri Vernatti demanded to see Weinstein’s police credentials. He says that when he told the officer that he had no such credentials, Vernatti became physically and verbally abusive. While he was later released after his arrest, the officer made him take the tee shirt off and given a ticket — the ticket was later dismissed.
It is not clear what Vernatti does when the Band Police comes to town with their tee shirts.
Weinstein bought two shirts for himself and his wife from a uniform store in St. Louis while buying supplies for firefighting.
This is not Vernatti’s first appearance as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. In 2005, he and the city were sued for allegedly tasering a man — a lawsuit that was settled by the city.
Putting aside Vernatti lack of appreciation for the first amendment, it would appear that he has some other issues that raise questions of his fitness. For a small city, this litigation must be pretty costly — far more expensive than an enhanced selection and training program for officers.
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