Daily Mail reports:
A police officer in Rochester, New York, has been criticized by his chief after he let several women twerk on the hood of his car after they were refused entry into a nightclub.
A video was posted on Twitter at the weekend showing several women gyrating provocatively on the hood of the patrol car as two officers watched.
It was clearly a light-hearted interaction between the women and the officers but Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli was not amused.
He issued a statement saying: ‘We, as leaders of the Department, hold the Rochester Police Department, its uniform and its symbols in the highest regard.
‘We expect all our officers to do the same. Our professionalism, both on- and off-duty are a reflection of all police officers.’
Ciminelli added: ‘Although the RPD personnel did not intend for this to occur, the result was an inappropriate and unacceptable image for the Rochester Police Department. This matter has already been addressed accordingly.’
He said: ‘I don’t think it was targeted or out of disrespect, they just thought it was going to be funny if we do this. None of us found it funny.’
But the man who took the video has suggested Ciminelli should lighten up.
Chris Barber told local TV station 13WHAM: ‘The women asked the cops if they could dance by their car.
‘The RPD officers were being respectful to the females who made a request.’
It is a far cry from the hostile relations displayed between police and the African American community in recent years, which culminated in the killing of five officers in Dallas in July last year.
Mr Barber explained that the women had been denied entry into the Pearl nightclub in Rochester in the early hours of Saturday morning because one of them was wearing sweatpants.
Their desire to twerk on the dancefloor having been frustrated, the women sidled up to the cops, who were parked in an alley, and asked an officer if they could twerk by his patrol car.
Mr Barber said: ‘He said “I’m going to turn my back real quick”, which is kind of a way of saying not yes, but not saying no.’
Later it emerged the officers thought the girl were simply going to take selfies of themselves in front of the car and had no time to react when one suddenly climbed onto the hood.
Ralph Gagliano, of the police union, the Rochester Police Locust Club, said: ‘We’re constantly being told it’s important to interact with the public. It was appropriate how he reacted to the situation.
‘His intention was to allow these girls to take a photo in front of the car. They decided to carry on and bring attention to themselves.’
On Twitter most people saw the funny side and saw it as a harmless dance but a minority found it offensive and disrespectful.
@akachela tweeted: ‘Why is the RPD apologizing? This is the best community outreach they’ve done in months.’
Rochester Democratic Socialists tweeted jokingly: ‘Twerking on police cars is part of our strategy portfolio actually.’
But Amber Nicole tweeted: ‘Stay classy, Rochester. Your tax dollars at twerk.’