The NYPD has been slammed for arresting a woman who was selling food inside a Brooklyn subway station.
The incident took place on Friday inside the Broadway Junction subway station in East New York. Two Twitter viral videos that documented the situation showed three uniformed officers and one in plainclothes encircling a woman who was selling churros.
In the first video, the officers are speaking with the woman, and in the second, she’s being led away in handcuffs.
During one of the videos, the person filming the incident, Sofia Newman asks, “Can you just, like, let her keep her stuff?” An officer responds, “No ma’am.”
Newman described the scene to The Gothamist, saying that after the police cuffed her and led her into the police station, “the entire station” erupted. “People were calling out angrily, there was this huge outburst,” she said.
According to CBS New York, the NYPD released a statement that explained that the woman is an unlicensed vendor who was told that she would be issued a summons and her property would be confiscated if she didn’t comply.
“This individual has been issued ten summonses in the last five months for unlicensed vending at the same station," the statement read. "The Command has received numerous complaints regarding unlicensed vendors at Broadway Junction due to health concerns and individuals interfering with pedestrian flow.”
Police say the woman refused to cooperate, so she was momentarily handcuffed before being released. Her property was taken as evidence.
The NYPD has been cracking down on the subways. At the beginning of the month, about 1,000 people gathered in Downtown Brooklyn to protest this recent aggressive policing. The protests occurred days after viral videos showed NYPD officers using excessive force on city train stations.
One of the videos showed authorities pointing their guns at a young man who was sitting in a packed subway car. Moments later, a group of officers stormed the car, threw the teen on the ground, and placed him in cuffs. The crime he allegedly committed was not paying the MTA's $2.75 fare.
Another video from late October showed policemen punching 15-year-old Benjamin Marshall at a downtown station. Officers were responding to a fight, but it wasn't clear if Marshall was involved in the altercation. His family has since filed a $5 million lawsuit against the city and the police department.