This week, a fight between New York police and a Times Square superhero was caught on video, but who is at fault is still in question. The man who was dressed as spider-man was 25-year-old Junior Bishop, of Brooklyn. Bishop is one of many people who make a living dressing up in costumes and taking pictures with tourists for tips in Times Square.
Now he is facing multiple felony charges including assault, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, after he got in a fight with police while working in his spider-man suit.
Bishop can be seen scuffling with police in the video that was taken during the flight, but there are varying accounts of what actually led up to the incident. Police say that the man became belligerent with them when asked for his ID, while other costume workers claim that they are regularly harassed by police while working in Times Square.
In the video, the police officer can be seen choking Bishop, and Bishop can be seen responding with multiple punches. At one point in the video an officer can be heard yelling “stop resisting bitch!”, as they tackled the costumed man to the ground.
Recently, politicians have been seeking to regulate costume workers. Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, made a blanket statement saying that the characters who worked in Times Square were all criminals, and called for placing restrictions on people who want to get involved in that kind of work.
“This incident is yet another reminder that many — though certainly not all — of these so-called friendly characters are actually violent and aggressive and have troubling criminal records. A rigorous licensing scheme would address this,” Tompkins told reporters.
In fact, a city councilman had recently proposed a law that would require all costumed characters be licensed, an expense that would likely put them all out of business.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.