The New York Civil Liberties Union is suing the NYPD on behalf of a Queens man who was kicked out of a Yankees game when he tried to go potty during "God Bless America."
The Yankees started playing "God Bless America" over the loudspeakers during the seventh-inning stretch shortly after 9/11. At a game last August, Bradford Campeau-Laurion attempted to use the seventh-inning stretch for the reason God intended it—to take a leak. But two New York City police officers—the NYCLU believes they were off-duty and working security for the stadium—tried to bodily prevent him from leaving his seat because everybody knows that relieving oneself while patriotic music is playing is a grave offense to the freedoms we all hold dear. From the NYCLU press release:
Campeau-Laurion quietly watched the game, ate a bag of peanuts and drank two beers. He decided to use the restroom at the start of the seventh-inning stretch – a period when fans often choose to use the restroom. He got up and made his way down the aisle as "God Bless America" began playing. A police officer blocked his path and indicated that he could not leave during the song. Campeau-Laurion explained that he needed to use the restroom and was not concerned about "God Bless America." Then he attempted to walk past the officer.
Before Campeau-Laurion could take a step, the police officer grabbed his right arm and twisted it behind his back. A second officer twisted Campeau-Laurion's left arm behind his back, and the two officers then marched him down several ramps to the stadium's exit with his arms pinned behind his back. The officers refused to ease their grip, even though Campeau-Laurion was not resisting them.
The encounter ended with one of the officers telling Campeau-Laurion to leave the country if he didn't like it.
If you ever go to the bathroom on the Fourth of July in New York City, expect a beatdown from the NYPD.
Campeau-Laurion, who works for Forbes.com (according to his Plaxo profile), is suing the NYPD, the Yankees, and the City of New York.