NEW YORK — An on-duty NYPD officer who was captured on video last year grinding and twerking in the steeet with a participant in a “gay pride” parade has been cleared by the New York Police Department of violating any department guidelines.
As previously reported, the viral video was recorded last June as over 20,000 people marched in the city’s annual parade, which stretched two miles from midtown to Greenwich Village. It captured a uniformed officer letting loose to the Michael Jackson song “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and bumping his rear-end into the private area of the “gay pride” marcher.
During the short video clip, the officer’s back was turned to the homosexual man dancing behind him as his holstered gun and handcuffs shook from his hips. The marcher, who has now been identified as Aaron Santis, then planted a pride sticker on the smiling officer and kissed him on the cheek.
“I didn’t expect him to get into it as much as he did,” Santis told reporters. “The crowd just loved it and I think it made him want to dance more.”
Paige Ponzeka, a member of the LGBT sports group Big Apple Softball League who recorded the incident, told BuzzFeed News that Santis approached the officer and began “grinding up against him” as he had been seeking an officer to “dance” with him throughout the event.
“The cop was standing there all stoic,” Ponzeka recalled. “As soon as Aaron started dancing with him, grinding up against him, the cop tried to stay still but then he just got super into it.”
The officer, who was dubbed the “dirty dancing cop” by various outlets has been identified as 111 Precinct Officer Michael Hance. The 17-year police force veteran and heterosexual father of two had been assigned to the parade that day.
His Facebook cover is a prayer that he would walk close to God as a police officer.
“When I start my tour of duty, God, wherever crime may be, as I walk the darkened streets alone, let me be close to Thee,” it reads in part.
An integrity control officer, who only desired to be identified as Sergeant Michelle of the 111th precinct, told Christian News Network that Hance was not found “to be in violation of any department guidelines” following an investigation into filed complaints.
“He viewed it as community relations,” she said. “According to police guidelines, he didn’t violate anything.”
Sergeant Michelle explained that Internal Affairs first conducted a preliminary investigation but passed on handling the matter, forwarding it to her and someone she identified as Lieutenant McKay for review. Commanding Officer Captain McBride signed off on the report clearing Hance of departmental violations.
“Whether or not we think it was professional or unprofessional doesn’t matter,” she said. “We have to go by the department guidelines and the academy and our training.”
Sergeant Michelle said she didn’t find the video to be sexually suggestive, but asserted that Hance was “just dancing.”
“He didn’t look like he was dancing any differently than I see other people dancing,” she stated.