Nearly A Dozen NYPD Officers Pulled Guns On An Unarmed Black Teen Over A $2.75 Subway Fare
The New York Police Department said they were responding to reports about a teenager with a gun who had fled onto the subway.
October 28, 2019 at 9:57 pm
An unarmed Black teenager riding the subway in New York City was aggressively thrown to the ground and had guns pulled on him by police officers during last Friday’s rush hour, NBC New York reported.
The teen, later identified by the New York Police Department as 19-year-old Adrian Napier of Brooklyn, was riding the train when the incident occurred. A video captured by subway passenger Elad Nehorai on Twitter showed nearly a dozen officers rushing inside the subway car to arrest Napier.
Napier had his arms raised while police pointed their guns at him through the subway’s windows, according to the video. Other train riders scattered once they saw the police pointing their weapons.
The Washington Post reported that Napier said, “call my mom” to other subway riders before the police began swarming in to arrest him.
Nehorai, in an interview with The Washington Post, said police pointed their guns at multiple people before focusing on Napier.
“For a moment, they were kind of pointing guns at everyone who was in that vicinity,” he said.
NBC New York reported the officers were responding to a call about a subway passenger with a gun. The local outlet said the 19-year-old did not have a gun on him but was later charged with theft of services.
In case you’re wondering how an arrest in NYC goes down. The guy has made absolutely no indication that he would flee or fight and wasn’t trying to hide.
If you can’t see, the reason everyone moved was because all the police had taken out their guns and aimed at him. pic.twitter.com/dAstrtMntz
— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) October 25, 2019
Witnesses told police officers that Napier was seen with a gun near Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, according to NBC New York. The police department also said Napier had fled into the Pacific Street subway station when officers approached him.
Napier allegedly jumped over the turnstile and ran onto a southbound train, NBC New York reported. His description was then sent to other officers on patrol, some of whom later arrested him.
Napier was taken into custody and arrested for jumping the turnstile and was charged with theft of service. An investigation revealed he was “wanted for questioning in regard to a past larceny,” a police statement read.
A woman named Yolanda Sangweni said on Twitter her sons were on the train car during the incident. She said the incident could cause long-standing trauma for her boys.
“How do we, as parents, even begin to speak to them about this kind of violence? You see the trauma we’re exposed to at a young age,” she said in her Twitter post.
My sons were in this train car. My 10-year-old came home inconsolable. How do we, as parents, even begin to speak to them about this kind of violence? You see the trauma we’re exposed to at a young age https://t.co/QYWnqRZqXX
— Yolanda Sangweni (@YoliZama) October 26, 2019
Presidential candidate Julián Castro said on Twitter the police should not have used the kind of force shown in the video for the crime Napier was charged with.
“This man didn’t pay his subway fare—but is tackled by at least ten officers in a crowded station,” Castro wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Officers should be working to deescalate—not putting dozens of lives at risk over $2.75.”
This man didn’t pay his subway fare—but is tackled by at least ten officers in a crowded station.
Officers should be working to deescalate—not putting dozens of lives at risk over $2.75.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 27, 2019
NYPD officers have been involved in at least 11 fatal shootings so far this year, the New York Times reported.
Criminal justice advocates say arrests for fare evasion tends to target people of color, Vice News noted. New York City officials have countered that argument and have said that fare evasion costs the city millions each year, reported CBS New York.