ABlack teenage girl was repeatedly pushed by a NYPD officer in a new video that began circulating on Twitter on Thursday evening, raising questions about why the minor was being shoved by an adult. The teen was pushed out of a Brooklyn train station and told not to return after the officer claimed she jumped the turnstile and did not pay her subway fare.
In the clip, the teen claims that the officer allowed others to walk through the gate adjacent to the turnstile without paying. While the officer agreed, she also noted that the teen jumped the turnstile, which is why she was prohibited from using that particular train station to go home.
“I allowed them, they didn’t jump the turnstile,” the officer said. The cop proceeded to push the teen out of the train station. The teenager asked to not be touched and the officer replied, “Then walk out,” while continuing to push the girl.
“Listen! Don’t touch me! Are you serious? I’m trying to go home! You’re saying I can’t go home? Are you insane?” the teen screamed as the interaction began to escalate. The officer threatened to arrest the teen, to which she replied, “You’re going to arrest me for trying to go home? I’m not doing anything.”
At that point, the teen was told that she is not welcome in the station.
The NYPD responded to the incident, claiming that the entire interaction was not recorded. “Specifically it did not show the female attempt to jump over the turnstile without paying the fare,” said NYPD’s deputy commissioner of public information, Lt. John Grimpel. “As a result of this action, the officer approached the female and instructed her to properly enter the system by swiping a MetroCard. She was asked multiple times to pay the fare which she refused and was physically removed from the Transit System.”
The teen did not receive a summons, but the video also did not indicate why she did not pay her fare.
In October 2019, an unknown group started an initiative in an effort to challenge New York City’s transportation fare evasion. Fliers were placed in subway stations encouraging riders to offer people who weren’t paying their fare a “Swipe,” or pay for their entry, rather than alerting subway officials. The initiative offered some humility to the idea that some riders could be avoiding paying the subway fare due to unforeseen circumstances, such as job loss or them not having sufficient funds.
“We are criminalizing poverty and people who can’t afford certain things and I am very disappointed that the governor is doing that,” Public Advocate of New York City Jumaane Williams told NewsOne at the time. “We can’t use police to solve all social ills. Some circumstances police are not equipped. I haven’t even heard him talk about underlying issues. Police can’t be the first response to everything.”
This, however, is not the first incident showcasing how the NYPD chooses to police Black and Brown people. A video posted to social media last October showed officers punching a group of Black teenagers in a Brooklyn subway station. An officer was seen in the footage punching an unsuspecting teen in the face.
There were five arrests reported, but that number did not appear to account for any of the officers involved in the brawl.