July 20, 2011

The Siege of Fulton Avenue

About fifty teenagers hunkered down for three hours in order to wait out the cops after a noise complaint. It reminds me of my days in Princeton, NJ, only some of my friends had weird parents that didn’t care if we drank as long as we didn’t drive:

It was kind of funny, and then just flat-out frustrating, how later on the papers would chalk up this decision to the considerable wealth of the area (median household income: $110,894), to the fact that these were kids raised by bankers and lawyers, kids with the gumption to know their constitutional rights. Because let’s be honest. Cops busted parties all the time, and this was just what you did: hunkered down, zipped your lips, and after about 30 minutes, the police would be on their way. It was an unwritten rule. A kind of discreet warning from authority to adolescents: Tone it down. Once, a cop had even come inside and played a quick round of beer pong, a drinking game not worth explaining. Another time, the kids videotaped the scene: officers standing around outside, yawning, leaving, the end. The exact scenario had played out in this exact house, as a matter of fact. Four or five times. Why should tonight be any different?

The police response, as the story evolves, becomes kinda weird, IMHO.

Update: The story is from 2005, but it doesn’t make it any less compelling.