Hipster cop: a plainclothes officer has surprised many at the Occupy Wall Street gathering for his unconventional look.
There have been a lot of police officers keeping an eye on the Occupy Wall Street protest and a lot of protesters keeping their eyes on the police — but probably only one officer who's been looked at for what he's wearing as much as what he's doing.
A plainclothes officer who's been working as a community affairs agent at the lower Manhattan protest is gaining some Internet fame for his un-stereotypical appearance, like a cool college professor.
Detective Rick Lee has been nicknamed the Hipster Cop online in tongue-in-cheek blog posts due to his more-fashionable-than-your-average-officer look, replete with cardigans, skinny ties, professorial-style glasses and side-swept hair.
Lee, 45, said people have a perception of police officers as old and staid and "then they meet me, they're like, 'Oh, he's cool.'"
Lee works in the 1st Precinct, which includes Zuccotti Park, where the protesters have been since mid-September. He and his partners have been down there talking to them every day.
He said that as a community affairs officer, his role is to try to work as a bridge between the protesters and the police, to balance the protesters' right to demonstrate and police attempts to maintain order.