City Parks Worker Humiliated After Being Told To Clean Dog Poop Off Someones Shoes
By Daily News
A Baltimore-based artist asked a low-level city Parks Department worker to clean the dog poop off the bottom of his fancy European shoes during an art showcase near Gracie Mansion on Oct. 2, according to the staffer.
Tasheema Chatman, 40, was ordered to meet artist Christos Palios at the Gracie Square Art Show in Carl Schurz Park after he got his shoes dirty.
“When they called me over there, to the guy, I felt humiliated and degraded about having to clean a guy’s shoe,” Chatman recalled. “I felt intimidated.”
Two bosses just looked on and smiled as she carefully scrubbed off both of his shoes, she said.
“They just stood there and watched,” the mother of two told the Daily News.
Palios did not respond to a call and email seeking comment.
He previously defended his pampered behavior.
“She was very accommodating and willing,” he told “A Walk in the Park,” which first reported the incident.
“We knelt down,” he added. “I felt uncomfortable… the whole time, but I thought it was just going to be a 15- or 20-second thing, which it was and that was that.”
“What bothers me universally is that she had a choice just to say no, no, no,” he continued. “I mean, I didn’t order her.”
Chatman said she felt like there was no way to say no to her bosses.
“I didn’t want to be insubordinate and not do my job,” she said. “I didn’t want to clean his shoe but I felt like I had to.”
Asked whether she felt the incident was racially motivated, Chatman said, “It doesn’t make sense to me at all. Whether they did this because I’m a black woman or because of a gender thing… I don’t know. I really don’t understand why.”
Chatman, who has worked for the department since 2007, has been granted a transfer, a city official said.
The city Parks Department is investigating the issue.