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Crime and punishment

Brooklyn cops are handing out fake jaywalking tickets

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After an 84-year-old man wound up with a head wound for misunderstanding cops who tried to stop him from jaywalking on the Upper West Side, New York City's police department is taking a decidedly more lighthearted approach to the issue. This morning, police officers in Brooklyn's 68th precinct, which includes the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, and Fort Hamilton, handed out faux jaywalking tickets to raise awareness about the city's laws.

The fliers were handed out to pedestrians as they crossed the street — both legally and illegally — and look like an official NYPD summons, but are pre-written and addressed to John Doe. According to the summons, Doe "failed to exercise due care while crossing a roadway, creating a safety hazard." On the back of the papers, police included a list of pedestrian safety tips.

The publicity stunt probably won't stop people from jaywalking, particularly during the morning rush, but it certainly beats a $5 million lawsuit.