Retired Philadelphia Police Officer Wears Uniform At Occupy Philly Event
Retired Philadelphia Police Capt. Ray Lewis, who gained national attention with his defiant, in-uniform protest and subsequent arrest at Occupy Wall Street, made his first appearance with Occupy Philly on Monday afternoon.
Lewis, 60, had been chastised in letters from Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and the Fraternal Order of Police after he was arrested in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park on Nov. 17, wearing his old uniform.
Again donning his uniform Monday on Independence Mall, Lewis asserted his right to free speech, calling his choice of clothing a “visual symbol" of the 24 years he devoted to police work.
“I will not idly stand by while law enforcement is administered only to the poor and disenfranchised while the rich flaunt their immunity,” Lewis told a crowd of 40 occupiers and reporters gathered near a stone engraved with the First Amendment.”
His address was part of a daylong Occupy event promoting freedom of speech that peaked with a march to the Comcast Center to submit a petition for the company to carry Al-Jazeera English.
Ramsey wrote previously that he was “prepared to take any and all necessary actions” against Lewis if he continued to wear the insignia of the Philadelphia police.
The case against Lewis after his arrest in New York was dismissed provided that he is not arrested again within six months of the decision.