Philadelphia transit authority changes mask policy after viral video of man being dragged off bus

Philadelphia transit authority changes mask policy after viral video of man being dragged off bus
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Philadelphia's transit authority has revoked a policy barring passengers from using its services without a face covering, after video surfaced showing police forcibly removing a person from a public bus. 

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) last week issued a memo urging customers to wear a cloth face covering when using the bus line as part of an effort to protect passengers and employees from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. SEPTA said that the policy was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In wake of the incident, SEPTA said that the "policy will no longer be enforced," according to reports. 

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"While SEPTA urges riders to cover their faces, those who refuse will not be barred entry to the system," SEPTA said. 

A video surfaced on social media last week showing a group of Philadelphia police officers dragging a man who wasn't wearing a mask off a city bus. The video, which went viral and prompted backlash online, showed four officers pulling the passenger off the bus as he repeatedly cursed. 

The man, who has not been identified, was not arrested or cited following the incident, ABC News reported. SEPTA and the Philadelphia Police Department are reportedly investigating the matter. 

The Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement that officers arrived at the scene after a report that a SEPTA passenger had repeatedly refused a bus driver's request to leave. 

"PPD Officers arrived on location, and after being made aware of the driver's request, also ordered the male to leave the bus several times," Philadelphia police said. "The male again refused, at which point he was physically removed by the officers."