NYPD Sued for False Banksy Arrest

The elusive Banksy has maintained his position of mystery and anonymity for years now, despite many recent claims that he has been captured or unmasked. The NYPD, who have a history of getting a little trigger-happy, must have wanted in on the action, as an innocent man named Richard Pfeiffer was arrested and charged with making graffiti that is attributed to the elusive artist. Pfeiffer, logically, is now suing the NYPD for their bumbling mistake.

The incident in question took place this past October, where Pfeiffer and his fiancée were admiring a Banksy artwork of a smiley face outside an East Village coffee shop. The NYPD stopped Pfeiffer in the middle of their viewing, with one officer reportedly claiming to see Pfeiffer making the mural. Pfeiffer is something of an artist himself, which made the marker in his pocket seemingly incriminating, yet he attempted to demonstrate to the officers that the graffiti in question could not have been made with any item on his person. They didn’t buy it, and Pfeiffer was detained in jail overnight before being released.

The piece in question was made by Banksy during his trip to New York in the fall of 2013, something the coffee shop owner attested to in criminal proceedings against Pfeiffer. During that tour, he made a multitude of pieces directly addressing the less than stellar tactics of the NYPD, which may explain their eagerness at possibly capturing him. Charges were dropped against Pfeiffer as he was most assuredly innocent, but the case is back in court with Pfeiffer’s new lawsuit.

Citing that the city should “pay for the humiliation” and his lost time at work, the city responded with the tacit response that they will “review the lawsuit.” The real Banksy continues to remain at large, unless Pfeiffer is secretly Banksy and fooling us all in an ultimate game of trolling the police. Who’s to say?

Artwork by Banksy (not the piece involved in lawsuit)

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