New York subway rider says officers pushed him after he asked they wear masks

New York subway rider says officers pushed him after he asked they wear masks
© UPI Photo

Footage of a New York subway rider getting pushed by police started to circulate on Tuesday after he asked unmasked officers to wear facial coverings.

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“My biggest thought was just disappointment,” Andrew Gilbert, the rider who was pushed by officers, told The New York Times in an interview. 

Gilbert told the newspaper that he had confronted the officers at the Eighth Street subway station on Tuesday when he saw that they were not wearing masks, explaining that there was a brief back-and-forth before he was forcibly removed. Footage shows Gilbert being pushed out of the platform and through an exit gate.

By law, police officers are required to wear masks at public transit locations and the MTA requires people to wear masks inside the train and in subway stations, according to the Times. 

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioFirst NYC safe havens for drug use cleared to open, de Blasio says The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it NYC officials recommend masks indoors, but won't reimpose mandates MORE (D) said during a press conference on Wednesday that while he did not see everything that led up to the video, “I didn’t like what I saw one bit.”

“On the video, I saw one of the videos of a couple of officers removing someone from the subway. I was troubled by that video. I didn't like what I saw one bit,” de Blasio said.

“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.”

New York City police commissioner Dermot Shea said that they were aware of the incident and lamented that “we’re better than that.”

“I've been the first to defend officers, I think many of you know that. I'm also the first to call out wrong when it's wrong,” Shea said on Wednesday. “Absolutely inexcusable.”

The city police commissioner added that no one was going to get fired or suspended over the incident but underscored that they were not going to downplay what happened either.