Two NYPD cops pushed a straphanger out of a Manhattan subway station Tuesday morning after the man asked the officers to mask up, according to video and eyewitnesses.
The clip recorded by eyewitness Victoria Hall shows a male officer carrying Andy Gilbert down the platform and out of Eighth Street station with an assist from his female partner, who pushes the emergency gate open.
“I kept asking why aren’t you wearing a mask. Eventually, he said I was being disruptive,” said Gilbert, 27, of Queens. “He said, ‘If you’re not going to ride the train, you can get out.’ “
Gilbert said he had been speaking with the two cops for several minutes before the officers got physical. The male officer initially “pretended he couldn’t hear what I was saying, like, ‘Sorry I can’t hear through your mask,’ ” he recalled.
Federal law requires face coverings on all public transportation. NYPD is responsible for enforcing the rule on subways and buses. Violators can be subject to a $50 fine.
Hall said she got in on the fracas after seeing the officers repeatedly refuse Gilbert’s request that they mask up. She started filming when the male officer grabbed Gilbert by the collar.
“The police just got very aggressive,” she said. “Normally, something like this, I wouldn’t want to be involved, but it was just really annoying and made me angry.”
“They should have just said, ‘You know what, sorry we should have put them on too. Thanks for reminding us.’ And that would’ve been it.”
Gilbert said he has confronted NYPD officers who don’t wear masks on the subway in the past, but it had never escalated to physical confrontation. He has not decided whether to file a complaint, he said.
“Usually they just completely ignore me and put on masks and make up some lame excuse for why they weren’t wearing one or whatever,” he said. “I had one guy explain to me that he was drinking water. Of course, he didn’t have any water on him.”
The NYPD’s vaccination rate is 69 percent — lower than the city average. Department rules require unvaccinated cops to mask up while on the job or else face discipline.
The incident is under internal review, an NYPD spokesperson said.