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) – The NYPD issued a statement Tuesday on a viral video showing a New York City hospital worker arguing with a group of apparent teens over a Citi Bike, encouraging anyone involved who was a victim to come forward so an investigation can begin.
“The NYPD is aware of the video circulating online,” an NYPD spokesperson said Tuesday. “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 viral video starts with a 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.
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.”
“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!” Crump said.
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.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, where the woman is employed, said on Sunday it was reviewing the video. On Tuesday, the hospital announced the worker was out on leave pending the review.
“We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing. The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending a review. As a health system, we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind,” the updated statement said.