A video of New York teen’s confrontation with an NYPD officer is generating outrage on the heels of recent protests about policing in the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority subway system.
In the clip, the unidentified girl goes back and forth with a female NYPD officer who is trying to kick her out of the Avenue M train station, as reported by The New York Post.
The officer accused the girl of trying to gain access to the subway platform through an open emergency gate, and the teen argued other people were allowed to do the same without punishment.
“I allowed them, they didn’t jump the turnstile,” the officer said as she pushed the teen out of the station.
“Please don’t touch me,” the girl shouted.
“Then walk out,” the officer replied.
The altercation happened on Wednesday, and the video appeared on Twitter a day later. It drew backlash from viewers who believed the cops were being too harsh.
“Can you explain why this is even necessary?!! NYC students are all given free metrocards,” wrote one user. “So what is the purpose of this heavy-handed enforcement except gratuitous harassment and intimidation? @NYPDTransit @NYCMayor this is providing no improvement of public safety.”
“She wouldn’t grab Becky like that,” wrote another.
“People walk through those doors to avoid fairs ALL THE TIME in NYC specifically when there is something wrong with the card swiping machine,” stated another. “Disgusting cop reacting like this over a $2.75 fare? Clown behavior.”
Edward Delatorre, NYPD’s chief of transit, claimed the video was misleading and the teen was allowed to leave without a citation.
“The video does not show the entire incident,” Delatorre tweeted. “The female attempted to jump the turnstile. The officer then approached her & instructed her to enter properly by swiping her MetroCard. She refused & was physically removed from the station. No summons was issued.”
This video adds more fuel to an already smoldering fire. The MTA has been ground zero for an outbreak of protests calling for free transit and less policing of fare-beaters. Protesting began on Jan. 31 at the Grand Central Terminal. Demonstrators chained doors open and superglued Metrocard readers to allow riders to get on the trains for free.
On Jan. 13, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she will investigate the NYPD after data showed Black and Latinx people were overrepresented in subway-related arrests and citations. The data, which was compiled by the police, showed Black and Latinx people accounted for 90 percent of fare-related arrests and 70 percent of summonses between October 2017 and June 2019.
“We’ve all read the stories and seen the disturbing videos of men, women, and children being harassed, dragged away, and arrested by officers in our city’s subway system,” James said in a statement. “which is why we are launching an investigation into this deeply troublesome conduct.”