A subway rider was filmed harassing a uniformed police officer in New York in front of confused commuters.
The minute-long clip shows a man who looks to be in his 20s telling an officer to ‘put hands’ on him, pointing out it would give him ‘every right to defend himself’.
‘Oh, you do?’ the police officer responds, ‘you think so?’
The man says ‘yeah, so put your hands on me,’ before threatening the officer, telling him ‘I’ll f*ck you up’.
While the officer in the video has not been identified, it appears as if he attempts to calm the situation down, telling the man ‘do what you gotta do’, while his partner stood nearby and shot the video earlier this week.
However, the man continued to berate the officer, telling him ‘suck my d*ck’ while taking a step closer to the cop.
While members of the public look on and laugh, the man told the second officer ‘freedom of speech, I’m doing nothing wrong’, before the other cop responds, ‘I understand’.
The Police Benevolent Association of New York, which represents active and retired police officers in the state, shared the clip to its Twitter to warn of the abuse facing officers every day.
The NYC PBA wrote:
NYC POs are confronting this kind of abuse, or worse, on a daily basis.
We’re past the point of ‘disrespect’. This behavior is inciting lawlessness, putting cops & NYers in danger.
PBA president Patrick Lynch released a statement on Tuesday, which called for ‘concrete action to address the lawlessness’ on the streets of New York.
As reported by the New York Post, the statement read:
The NYPD has issued guidance regarding the offenses for which a police officer could make an arrest in these situations.
But our district attorneys are almost universally refusing to prosecute these same offenses, and new laws passed this year in Albany will require cops to merely issue a ticket for these and many other crimes.
While it would appear the harassment in the video was entirely unprovoked, the increase in incidents like this one could be attributed to the rising distrust members of the public have in the police departments that are employed to ‘protect and serve’ them.
According to Movement for Black Lives activist Samuel Sinyangwe, police must acknowledge the ways in which they’ve violated the public’s trust and commit to repairing the damage in order for things to improve.
Writing on Medium, he said:
Instead, we continue to see police departments place the blame for their own violence on the very communities they’re supposed to be serving. ‘We just go where the crime is,’ they say. It’s a convenient narrative—one that relies more on racist assumptions than on facts.
Police brutality is an undeniable issue in The States, and what’s most alarming is, as Sinyangwe points out, the fact most incidents involving police killings start with officers responding to non-violent offences, or in others where no crime has been reported at all.
In July 2014, Eric Garner was choked to death by officers after they tried to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes. Officer Daniel Pantaleo denied using a chokehold, however mobile phone footage later emerged showing Pantaleo wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck and a medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, CNN reports.
According to Mapping Police Violence data collectors, in at least 57 per cent of police shootings, the victim wasn’t threatening anyone with a gun.
Meanwhile, African Americans are said to be three times more likely to be killed by police than their Caucasian counterparts and twice as likely to be unarmed when killed, says Mapping Police Violence.
It’s quite plain to see, from this incident and others like it, that tensions between the public and the police set to serve them are higher than ever.
The actions of the subway cops in this incident are a step in the right direction.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.