Mayor blasts NYPD officers who threw commuter off subway after he told them to wear masks

New York City police officials are required by law to wear masks in public places

Jade Bremner
Thursday 21 October 2021 16:27
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Commuter thrown off train by NYPD after asking them to wear masks
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A New York commuter was allegedly thrown off the subway by NYPD for asking the officers to wear a face mask. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio criticised the police after a video emerged of the altercation.

“I didn’t like what I saw one bit,” said he told press in a virtual conference after the video emerged.

According to a state mandate, New York City police officials should wear masks in public places or risk disciplinary action.

The police have been repeatedly called out for not following the rules they are paid to enforce.

“I saw the officers not wearing their masks in the subway. That’s evident, that’s unacceptable. We’ve given this instruction a thousand times, and if you’re going to be in law enforcement, you actually have to participate in following the law,” said de Blasio

In the recent video, which has close to 3 million views on Twitter after it was posted on 19 October, unmasked police officers are seen on the 8th Street subway station, and one of the officers appears to push commuter Andy Gilbert through the emergency exit gate, leaving him on the other side of the turnstiles. Mr Gilbert can be heard asking for the female police officer’s badge ID.

Mr Gilbert said he asked the police officers why they didn’t have masks on. The male officer said to Gilbert, “I can’t hear you through your mask,” he told CNN.

“I kept asking them to follow the law and put a mask on, and the officer declared that I was being ‘disruptive’ and grabbed me and shoved me 60 feet over to the emergency exit and slammed me through it,” said Gilbert. “He yelled at me, ‘If you’re not going to ride the train you can leave!’”

Mask are mandatory on public transport in NYC, those who are not wearing a face mask could be fined. “If you’re in the subway, we’re telling everyone in the subway you’ve got to wear a mask – that includes police officers. Period,” said de Blasio.

The two officers involved have not been fired or suspended but have been condemned for their behaviour by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who said discipline would be imposed and “there’s no excuse for what I saw in that video – we’re better than that”.

In New York, masks are required to be worn by unvaccinated people over age 2-years-old in public places. All people on public transit and in health care and schools are also required to wear masks.

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