Update: The hospital worker’s attorney, Justin Marino, spoke about the incident on NewsNation’s “On Balance With Leland Vittert” on Friday, saying the bike was hers all along and showing the receipt for the bike in question. The bike number on the receipt matches the bike seen in the video. Watch the interview here.
Original story below:
NEW YORK (PIX11) — A New York City hospital worker has come under fire after a video of her arguing with a group of apparent teens over a Citi Bike has gone viral on social media.
Attorney Ben Crump, who leads the George Floyd family’s legal team, posted the video on Instagram on Sunday, saying she “grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat.”
The video starts with the woman, who is white and wearing scrubs with “NYC Health + Hospitals” written on them, calling for help as she stands with one hand on a Citi Bike. The other person, who is Black, tells her it’s not her bike.
As the two appear to briefly struggle over the bike, the woman says she is pregnant and begins to scream for help, the video shows. When someone in the same blue scrubs as the woman stops to intervene, the woman appears to start crying, the video shows.
The woman then tries to take the bike as the other person tells the man in the scrubs that it’s his bike and it’s on his Citi Bike account. As the group argues over the bike, the person who recorded the video tells the woman to “stop fake crying.”
When the man in the scrubs asks the woman why she took the bike and suggests she take a different bike, she lets go of it and stops crying, the video shows.
“Not a tear came down miss,” someone can be heard saying on the video.
The video ends with the woman looking down at her phone.
It’s unclear who recorded the video and when the incident took place.
A tweet by @Imposter_Edits went viral as people on the platform accused the woman of fake crying and calling for help to gain sympathy.
“This lady tried her best to weaponize her tears, but when she realized it wasn’t going to work she switched it off and acted like nothing happened. This should be criminal,” the post caption said.
Crump said the woman’s behavior was unacceptable and dangerous.
“This is unacceptable! A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC. She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!” he wrote on Instagram.
Some social media users drew comparisons to an incident in Central Park in 2020 when a white woman called 911 and falsely accused a Black birdwatcher of threatening her life during an argument over leashing her dog in an area of the park where it is required.
An NYPD spokesperson told PIX11 News on Tuesday that investigators are aware of the video but a complaint has not been filed.
“The NYPD is aware of the video circulating online. There are currently no 911 calls or reports on file for this incident. The NYPD encourages anyone who believes they were the victim of a crime to come forward and report it at any police facility so that an investigation can commence,” the spokesperson said.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, where the woman is employed, issued a statement on Sunday.
“We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred off-campus over the weekend and appears to involve one of our employees. We are sorry this happened and we are reviewing the incident,” the statement said. “NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is committed to providing the highest quality of care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion.”