Men Ticketed for Playing Chess in NYC Park

| by Reason Foundation

By Brian Doherty

Whip out your "Chess Playing is Not a Crime" t-shirts, aging punks, they are needed in this hour.

The story from Gothamist:

The seven men were given summonses for being inside of Emerson Playground, a children's play area off limits to adults unaccompanied by minors. But the men were in an area filled with stone chess and backgammon tables, completely separated from the play area by a fence. Inwood residents were angry upon discovering what happened, because many of those ticketed were the same people who taught their children how to play chess in that very park over the past several years....

Captain Jose Navarro of the 34th Precinct told DNAinfo he had reviewed the ticket and stood by his officers giving the seven men summons for "Fail[ing] to comply with signs." "Under my direction, uniformed officers routinely enter the parks to enforce closing times and other regulations; all designed to protect the community,"

Protect, or fundraise through pointless fines, such picayune distinctions, surely not worthy of the attention of New York's Finest. (That this is all rooted in societal paranoia about every adult meaning fearful harm to all children not their own is interesting as well.)