NYPD has become the topic of controversy, yet again.
Two officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) are facing backlash for a recent video that has gone viral.
The video shows the two officers kicking a man out of the New York subway station for asking them to wear masks.
Due to a spike in diagnosed cases of the Coronavirus, the densely-populated New York City has instituted a mask mandate that requires everyone to wear face masks on the subway to reduce exposure to and subsequent spreading of the virus.
Watch the video here:
#NYC #NYPD harassing this subway rider for having the nerve to ask them to put on masks! #notabovethelaw @NYCMayor https://t.co/iEK8qKh0MF— ekki spyrja mig að því (@ekki spyrja mig að því) 1634648344.0
In the video, Gilbert, 27, approaches the two officers on the subway station platform during his work commute.
He then asks the officers why they aren't wearing masks.
In an interview with The Daily Dot, Gilbert said:
"When I got off the train, I noticed these two officers standing there on the platform with no masks, as is fairly typical these days for the NYPD."
"So I walked over and asked them why they weren't masked."
According to Gilbert, the male officer responded sarcastically, claiming that he couldn't "hear you through your mask."
Gilbert warned the officers rather he was recording the interaction--a response which prompted other bystanders to record the confrontation as well.
When Gilbert requested that the officers put on masks, the male officer told Gilbert that he was being "disruptive."
We then see the officer grab Gilbert by his shirt collar and drag him across the subway platform before shoving him through the exit.
"[He] grabbed me and shoved me [around] 60 feet over to the emergency exit and slammed me through it."
The other officer, a female officer, follows behind her colleague without intervening.
Gilbert then requests the officers' badge numbers, which prompted the male officer to yell back.
"He yelled at me, 'If you're not going to ride the train you can leave!'"
The officers then walk away and the video ends.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called the officers' behavior "absolutely inexcusable."
However, when asked about disciplinary actions being taken against the officers, Shea backtracked on his position.
"Nobody is getting fired over this incident, nobody is getting suspended over this incident."
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) CEO Janno Lieber expressed disappointment that NYPD officers refuse to follow the mask mandate.
"We want people to feel safe. We want them to feel COVID safe in the system, and because of that we are complying with the federal rule about masking on transit, and it's really undermining that sense of compliance that we have, obviously, more than a few cops who are not complying."
"We count on our law enforcement officers to set an example, they got to do it, and frankly the city's recovery is counting on people being able to be safe on mass transit."
"We shouldn't be worrying about this type of stuff when the focus ought to be on bringing people back so that normal life and the business of the city can resume."
MTA Communications Director Tim Minton added:
"It's up to the NYPD how to address allegations that its officers have violated rules."
The incident has sparked backlash against NYPD on Twitter, with many people calling for the officers to be suspended.
@toriahall @NYCMayor Here's to hoping **both** of these officers see consequences. This is assault plain and simple… https://t.co/SIMrmnprZW— Sarah Kohrmann (@Sarah Kohrmann) 1634685112.0
@toriahall @NYCMayor Can we please get these officers identified? No way NYC needs officers like this— Connie 🌺 (@Connie 🌺) 1634673206.0
@LakeLorene @toriahall @NYCMayor The difference is if he were black they would have choke hold him, beat him, or shot him.— Eliza Stoughton (@Eliza Stoughton) 1634725135.0
@toriahall @NYCMayor You can't reform institutions like this. These people need to be moved away from any jobs that… https://t.co/DtwU2a64DK— David (@David) 1634673515.0
@toriahall @NYCMayor As far as I know law enforcement is not exempt from the @NYCTSubway mask policy. If these… https://t.co/QffzYdyeWR— Jamesetta Williams 💕 (@Jamesetta Williams 💕) 1634673824.0
@toriahall @NYCMayor why don’t cops have to follow the same rules as the rest of us? why are they above the law?— thombas (@thombas) 1634673418.0
@toriahall @NYCMayor Why was he thrown out of the subway? He paid his fare.We now get manhandled for asking a quest… https://t.co/NbfS73Cfza— C.Pell.jr (@C.Pell.jr) 1634688586.0
@spbail @toriahall @2AvSagas @NYCMayor @MTA Because police are a protected class of the state. That's why they do w… https://t.co/U3MlwNd0y0— just a guy, MD🏳️🌈 (He/Him/His) #RentIsAScam (@just a guy, MD🏳️🌈 (He/Him/His) #RentIsAScam) 1634736524.0
What happened to protect and serve? This is neither. The public safety danger in that subway were the police office… https://t.co/sD6wbdbLI6— Maya Wiley (@Maya Wiley) 1634747219.0
The video has gone viral online, garnering almost three million views.
So far no disciplinary action has been taken against the officers.