A user on Twitter captured on video the unnecessary intimidation done to a woman in a New York City subway, which quickly went viral after several people commented that it was out of line.
According to NBC News, Sofia Newman, a bystander, felt compelled to record the ordeal of a woman selling churros in the subway after she was surrounded by three cops in uniform and one in plainclothes. They were telling her to stop selling churros in the subway, and even told her they would be taking her cart.
What Newman found particularly troubling — and the same thing other commenters and observers found troubling — is the fact that the cops seemed determined to take away her livelihood just because she had been selling churros on the subway.
|Photo Credit via Sofia Newman on Twitter|
In the video, Newman could be heard trying to help the woman, asking one officer, “Can she just go outside and keep her stuff?”
When the police officer said “no,” Newman went in front of the commotion to get a better shot at the faces of the police officers in the incident. The exchange drew outrage from people.
It was better put into words by Newman herself: “No matter what the law says, there is no reason why that many officers needed to encircle, demean, and police the poverty of that woman of color. It was an abuse of power, and yet another example of how broken our system is.”
|Photo Credit via 123rf|
In their defense, the New York Police Department said they had already been getting “numerous complaints about unlicensed vendors at the Broadway Junction station in Brooklyn because of health concerns.” They also added that they had already issued a summons to the woman 10 times in the last five months, but that she continued despite that.
But New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is of the opinion that it still should not have been how the cops went about with the situation.
“This kind of enforcement doesn’t make anyone safer,” he said.