Alexis Sumpter, a 15-year-old Harlem girl, was detained by New York Police Department (NYPD) officers for more than 90 minutes because they thought she illegally used a student metro card, the New York Daily News reports.
On July 27, Sumpter swiped her MetroCard at the 125th Metro station in Harlem and sat on a platform bench as she waited for the A-Train to arrive. Several plainclothes cops approached her, saying that she illegally swiped the card because they believed she was over 18 years of age.
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Sumpter told them that she was 15 years old, but could not provide ID because it was recently stolen at a party she attended.
The cops, she says, did not buy her story and cuffed her. Sumpter told The Post that the officers were quite aggressive:
“They called me liar,” she remembers. “Then they grabbed me by my arms and flung me up the stairs. I kept saying, I’m only 15 — why are you guys doing this?
“They said they didn’t owe me an explanation,” she said.
The officers on the scene called her father who vouched for her age, but they were not convinced. The teen’s mother, Marisol Sumpter, was then called. She raced to the scene with her daughter’s birth certificate and only then was the girl released.
The entire ordeal lasted 90 minutes, a fact that puzzles the teen’s mother.
“I definitely think it was over the top,” said Marisol Sumpter, 32, who works in real estate. “They used physical force that was not necessary.”
The Alexis was treated at a local hospital because she says the handcuffs caused swelling on her wrists. She no longer takes the A-train, hoping the change in travel will help her avoid the officers that detailed her. She was neither arrested nor given a summons.
“I don’t want to see them again,” she said. “I don’t want to have to go through that again.”