De Blasio: Video of maskless NYPD officer shoving man out of subway station ‘unacceptable’

Local News

Video shows an NYPD officer shove a man in a Manhattan subway station. (Courtesy video)

MANHATTAN — Viral video showing maskless officers in a Manhattan subway station removing a rider is “unacceptable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The video, posted to Twitter on Tuesday, showed two maskless officers in the 8th Street station in Greenwich Village in a confrontation with a masked rider. One officer shoved the man out of the station through the emergency exit.

 The person who filmed the incident said police were “harassing this passenger who asked them to put on masks.”

“I was troubled by that video,” de Blasio said. “I didn’t like what I saw one bit. I did not see everything, except for the clip at the time when the person’s being removed, but I saw the officers not wearing their masks in the subway. That’s evident, that’s unacceptable. We’ve given this instruction a thousand times and if you’re going to be in law enforcement, you actually have to participate in following the law.”

Under NYPD guidelines, all officers are required to wear face coverings when interacting with members of the public, regardless of vaccination status. A police spokesman said the incident was under internal review.

“I expect that there will be discipline in that case because it’s obvious that they were not wearing their masks,” de Blasio said. “The Commissioner said many times, publicly, given the instructions, it’s up to supervisors to step up now. Just tell people – if you’re in the subway, we’re telling everyone in the subway, you got to wear a mask. That includes police officers, period.”

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday the incident was “absolutely inexcusable” and that the officers would be disciplined.

“Nobody’s getting fired over this incident. Nobody’s getting suspended over this incident,” Shea told reporters. “But at the same time, I’m not in any way, shape, or form attempting to downplay that. I think we’re better than that and I think the public deserves better than that.”

The man in the video, identified on Twitter as Andy Gilbert, said he was on his way to work and had just gotten off the train when he noticed two officers without masks.

“I’ve taken to filming them whenever I see them doing this in the subway, so I walked over and asked them why they weren’t masked,” he told PIX11 News. “The male officer kept pretending he couldn’t hear what I was saying, he told me ‘I can’t hear you through your mask.’”

The man said he repeatedly asked the officers to put masks on and, in response, one officer declared the man was being “disruptive” and shoved the man about 60 feet toward the emergency exit.

“If you’re not going to ride the train, you can leave,” the officer said according to Gilbert.

In a similar recent incident, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea called the actions of a maskless police officer in a subway station “very inappropriate.”

“If you’re not wearing a mask when you should, you have to be held accountable, and we’ll take care of that,” he previously told PIX11 News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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