Man not wearing a mask forcibly removed from bus by police in Philadelphia

A man was forcibly removed from a Philadelphia public bus on Friday for not wearing a face mask, according to WHYY.

A Philadelphia Police official told WYYY that the incident began when a bus driver told the man to “leave the bus several times and the passenger repeatedly refused.”  Police reportedly received 911 calls about the disturbance on a bus near the city's downtown. 

Once the officers arrived they also “ordered the male to leave the bus several times. The male refused, at which point he was physically removed by the officers,” police said, according to WHYY.

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Videos of that incident were shared on social media by the Philadelphia Transit Riders Union.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) adopted a policy requiring all passengers to wear face masks last week. The video shows the extent police are enforcing the new health guidelines. 

Neither the Philadelphia Police Department nor SEPTA immediately responded to an inquiry from The Hill.

The incident has sparked concerns over potential police overreach in light of the new health guidelines. Yasha Zarrinkelk, an organizer with Transit Forward Philadelphia, told WHYY he is “apprehensive about the policy because of the “potentially negative interactions it might cause between police and riders.“

The City of Philadelphia has reported 5,793 cases of the coronavirus and 137 deaths as of Friday afternoon.