Whole Foods Bowery Hires NYPD Officer Following Lawsuit Over Security Spat

Posted on: February 7th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

One month after an East Village resident filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods and the security detail at the Bowery supermarket, a police officer now stands guard.

Area local Tessa Lena claims that, in April 2017, one of the guards tasked with patrolling the aisles accused her of shoplifting a bottle of juice. (She later said it was purchased elsewhere.) The female security officer allegedly tackled Lena. The lawsuit claims that the woman didn’t identify herself as a guard and wasn’t wearing any such uniform.

Lena avoided Whole Foods for a few months, but returned later that year. She eventually encountered the guard in August 2018, and confronted her. It quickly spiraled into fisticuffs.

She now seeks $10 million in damages from Whole Foods, Elite Security Personnel, and the unidentified assailant.

“I refuse to be treated like a little soldier inside an Amazon-run militarized shopping experience,” she wrote on her personal blog. “I am human.”

In the meantime, it seems that the onsite security service is now none other than NYPD. A police officer is stationed here to maintain order, confirmed by the 5th Precinct as hired through the relatively unknown “paid detailed unit.”

This program dates back to 1998, under the authority of then-Police Commissioner Howard Safir. It allows cops make extra cash by working off-duty while in uniform.

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