Unmasked NYPD cop who threw man outside subway station in viral video won't be fired

Video shows Andrew Gilbert being shoved outside by the cop who was questioned by him for not wearing a mask

                            Unmasked NYPD cop who threw man outside subway station in viral video won't be fired
Screenshots from the viral video (Twitter/ @toriahall)

A video has gone viral on the internet that showed an unmasked New York Police Department cop throwing a man out of a subway station because he asked him to cover his face amid the coronavirus pandemic. The man who was shoved has been identified as Andrew Gilbert and the incident reportedly happened on Tuesday, October 19, when he was going to work.

The 27-year-old told the Daily Dot, “When I got off the train, I noticed these two officers standing there on the platform with no masks, as is fairly typical these days for the NYPD. So I walked over and asked them why they weren’t masked.” He went on to say that the officer initially pretended to not hear what he said and told him sarcastically that he couldn’t “hear you through your mask.”


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Gilbert said he took out his phone and began shooting the incident. He was joined by another passenger too, who made the film and shared it on Twitter, and which has garnered more than 2 million views. The caption of the viral clip read, “#NYC #NYPD harassing this subway rider for having the nerve to ask them to put on masks! #notabovethelaw @NYCMayor.”

The man said that when he again asked the male cop to cover his face with a mask, he dubbed him as “disruptive” and “grabbed me and shoved me [around] 60 feet over to the emergency exit and slammed me through it.” The Twitter video showed the unnamed officer pulling Gilbert through his shirt collar and pushing him towards the emergency exit. The video also showed a female cop, who helped her colleague by opening the emergency gate as he threw Gilbert out of it.

Gilbert said he repeatedly asked the cop for his badge number after being locked outside the station, but, “He [the officer] yelled at me, ‘If you’re not going to ride the train you can leave!’”

The footage has garnered a lot of attention from people on the internet. A user commented, “Here's to hoping **both** of these officers see consequences. This is assault plain and simple. Also, don't they have to give their badge number upon request? Thank you for filming and advocating.” The second user wrote, “Police abuse their power all the time. This is entitlement and abuse of power at its worst. This should be under investigation.” “Why are they not wearing masks? They are not protecting riders from droplet spread! I work critical care. No employee should be working without masks. They are not protecting eachother from droplet spread. If they test negative but then contract it on the job, transmission occurs,” the third one noted.






A tweet read, “You can't reform institutions like this. These people need to be moved away from any jobs that contains instances where they have more opportunities to harm members of the public.” Another added: “They all have attitude/issues, you can’t approach them w any questions.  They are always on the phone texting or similar … I do NOT see any cop ever on the train and they look totally not interested to help people w safety … I don’t trust them sorry.”




Meanwhile, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has said: “Nobody is getting fired over this incident, nobody is getting suspended over this incident.” But Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) acting chair and CEO Janno Lieber noted: “We want people to feel safe. We want them to feel COVID safe in the system, and because of that we are complying with the federal rule about masking on transit, and it’s really undermining that sense of, compliance that we have, obviously, more than a few cops who are not complying.”

Lieber added, “We count on our law enforcement officers to set an example, they got to do it, and frankly the city’s recovery is counting on people being able to be safe on mass transit. We shouldn’t be worrying about this type of stuff when the focus ought to be on bringing people back so that normal life and the business of the city can resume.”

Tim Minton, MTA communications director, said, “It’s up to the NYPD how to address allegations that its officers have violated rules.”

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