Verdicts & Settlements
Illegal Bust Was Not Woman’s
Posted Jun 18, 2007 9:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A woman wrongly arrested for going topless will receive a $29,000 settlement from the city of New York.
The illegal bust was by police, not the woman, according to the New York Post.
Artist Jill Coccaro, who now goes by the name Phoenix Feeley, was arrested in 2005 for taking a walk with the top of her painter’s jumpsuit pulled down. She filed a lawsuit in October claiming an officer yanked her out of the patrol car by the hair, took her for a psychiatric examination and refused to help her repair her ripped jumpsuit.
Feeley told police she had a right to go topless—and she was correct. A New York appeals court ruled in 1992 that women could not be punished for baring their breasts if men are allowed to do it.
"I did not do anything to anyone on that street. I did not harm anyone," she told the Post. "I was so not resisting arrest."