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Anti-Immigrant Cop Busted for Harassing Cyclists, Police Watchdog Finds

Meet Police Officer Frank Faber — a rogue, anti-immigrant, anti-cycling cop who finally got caught.

4:09 PM EDT on September 8, 2023

Police Officer Faber — a recidivist harasser of cyclists. And a lover of “God Bless America,” frequently performed by the late, great Kate Smith (inset).

His heart beats true for the red, white and cyclist harassment.

A cop with a history of ticketing cyclists for obscure infractions showed his true colors during one such encounter earlier this year, when he derogatorily blasted “God Bless America” into an immigrant's face, according to a new report

Police Officer Frank Faber pulled over an individual on a Citi Bike who had allegedly called out Faber and his partner for harassing and ticketing bikers, according to the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s Aug. 21 report. When the individual — a 30-something Hispanic male, whose name has not been released — attempted to bypass the obstruction, Faber pounced and cited him for “riding on the wrong side of the bike lane,” according to the 71-page report, which cites examples of all manner of misconduct allegations that the police watchdog agency says it closed in the last year. 

The individual complied with the cops and handed over his identification before making a phone call while waiting for the officers to write up his ticket. That's when he heard Faber “call him a foreigner.” And the intimidation didn’t stop there. Faber, who took home $134,000 last year, according to city records, then played the entirety of the treacly patriotic anthem — with such lyrics as "From the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam!" — over the loudspeaker of his squad car, continuously pumping up the volume in order to drown out the phone call of the individual, who had recorded the interaction on Oct. 20, 2021.

“The investigation determined that PO Faber was aware that the individual was not from the United States and that using the ‘God Bless America’ song served the specific purpose of belittling the individual,” the CCRB’s semi-annual report says. 

The watchdog agency substantiated allegations of discourtesy and offensive language and closed the case this past March, recommending discipline against Faber, who has a total of 12 allegations lodged against him, two of which were substantiated, according to police records

Faber defended his xenophobic actions, telling lawyers during an interview that he just randomly picked a song to "drown out the sound of the individual speaking" so as not to cause an altercation.

But despite the CCRB's recommendation, the NYPD declined to discipline Faber, according to city records.

It’s not clear where the offensive encounter took place, though it's likely that it was at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, within Faber's command in the Fifth Precinct. The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment about the incident. And Streetsblog submitted a Freedom of Information request with the CCRB for Faber's closing report.

And this is not Faber’s first time harassing cyclists. In 2020, this reporter spotted Faber writing up other cyclists and took a picture of him. The jingoistic cop responded by writing the reporter a ticket for not having a bell on her bicycle — an obscure rule famously violated by former NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, and one that the city’s then-top cop admitted to using as a "tool" in order to stop what he had believed would be an unruly bike ride.

The allegation was so bogus that Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman wrote to the NYPD in an attempt to appeal the ticket, claiming that Faber's actions were "an attempt to harass" the reporter for taking photos, Gothamist reported at the time.

The NYPD did not respond to either Gothamist’s requests for comment or Streetsblog’s appeal, and this reporter ultimately paid the $100 ticket. 

Streetsblog has again requested that the ticket be nullified and the money reimbursed.

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