- Video shows two police officers forcefully removing a New York subway rider for asking them to wear a face mask.
- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority requires every person to wear a mask if they are at an indoor subway station.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the two officers are under investigation for breaking the rules.
Two unmasked officers from the New York Police Department kicked out a subway rider from the station on Tuesday after he taped himself asking the law enforcement agents if they would put on a mask.
According to a viral video of the incident, the subway rider was apprehended by the police officers and slammed against an exit door before pushing him out of the gated area of the station.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency in charge of the subway system, issued guidance earlier in the pandemic requiring every person to wear a protective face mask if they are in an indoor subway station or risk being fined $50. The MTA said it would give a complimentary face mask to anyone in need of one.
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The subway rider from the video, Andrew Gilbert, told amNY that he was on his way to work when he noticed the officers maskless at the station. After asking the officers to comply with the rule, Gilbert alleges the male officer was “playing dumb” by saying he couldn’t hear the questions because Gilbert was wearing a face mask as required.
“He just walked into me, grabbed me and pushed me,” Gilbert told the outlet. “He grabbed me by the shirt and pushed me over to the emergency exit and slammed me through it, and was yelling at me how, ‘If you’re not going to ride the train you can get out.'”
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said the two offending officers are now under investigation.
“I expect there will be discipline in that cause,” de Blasio said in a press conference. “It’s obvious that they were not wearing their masks.”
De Blasio went on to express his discontent with the police department for not following established rules.
“We’ve given this instruction a thousand times, he said. “And if you’re gonna be in law enforcement, you actually have to participate in following the law.”