The first thing to notice about the young, ahh, lady arrested in Manhattan Wednesday for spitting in a cop’s face is that she was back on the street before they had time to test the cop for rabies.
Think of that as cause and effect.
The second, as Joe Biden inches slowly toward his magic number, is that a goodly number of 2016’s sore losers intend fully to become 2020’s sore winners, should it come to that, so nobody reasonably can expect peace and quiet. Preening self-righteousness is like crack; once you’re hooked, it’s hard to give it up.
And it would be hard to find a preener more suited to the moment than the chick this newspaper’s genius headline writers have tagged the Phlegm Fatale — Devina Singh, 24, of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, who hangs at high-end swimming pools in Miami, gets busted at “peaceful protests” in Manhattan and smugly hurls hockers at cops.
Lady Devina also has a foul mouth (just check out the arrest video); trouble with the truth (the cops “hit us with their bikes repeatedly . . . attacking people . . .”) and a fairly well-developed persecution complex “We allow white people and those in power to continue to demonize and brutalize [us],” she writes on Facebook.
She is also not unique, which is a big reason why much of Manhattan was sheathed in plywood in anticipation of Election Night. Manhattan is riddled with angry, paranoid advantage-takers always on the lookout to make an ugly statement, and the one thing they pretty much can count on is getting away with it.
So while no-cost bad behavior is understandable, the anger really isn’t. Hey, if you’re Lady Devina and you’ve been arrested at least three times over the past six weeks and they keep letting you go, how bad can this town be, really?
And there you have the real issue: the letting-you-go part. Those “mostly peaceful protests” — in fact, roving, always-on-the-edge provocations that have plagued the city for months — are one thing. Pain-in-the-ass people are what the First Amendment is about.
But spitting in a cop’s face is an escalation that really should earn one more than a desk appearance ticket. Until it does, expect more of it. Maybe worse.
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