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Lawsuit alleges New Yorker arrested for going topless

Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A New York woman's lawsuit against the city police department alleges she was arrested for arguing with officers about her right to go topless in public.

The lawsuit brought by Jessica Krigsman, 24, a burlesque dancer who performs under the name Nikki Talis, names the New York Police Department and the officers behind her July 2012 arrest at Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Stuart Jacobs, Krigsman's lawyer, said two officers approached his client "aggressively" while she was sunbathing topless on a park bench.

"They asked for ID and told her to put on her shirt," Jacobs said.

Krigsman said she attempted to explain to the officers that it is legal for women to go topless in New York as a result of the 1992 People vs. Santorelli ruling in the State Court of Appeals, but one of the officers told her to "stop mouthing off."

"The female cop picked up Jessica's shirt and forced it onto her," Jacobs said. "She didn't resist in any way or fight in any way. They arrested her and cuffed her and took her to the precinct."

Krigsman said she was held in pink handcuffs and detained for five hours. A charge of obstruction of a sitting area was dropped by the city three months after the incident.

The suit is seeking unspecified damages plus attorney fees.

"People would say, 'Well what about the children?'" Krigsman said. "Well, to that I say, 'Where do you think they came from?'"

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