The treatment of a woman selling churros in a Brooklyn subway has sparked outrage on social media. A viral video shows the woman crying as she is arrested by NYPD officers at the subway station. The officers also confiscated her churro cart.
A Bystander Tweeted A Video Of The Incident
The woman who filmed the now-viral video, Sophia Newman is seen questioning the officers’ intentions, shouting “Are you f–king kidding me?” many times. The officers replied by saying that it is illegal to sell food at a subway station. The woman selling churros was eventually released and given a summons. Although this woman was committing a minor offense, there was no reason for her to be treated this way.
Tonight as I was leaving Broadway Junction, I saw three or four police officers (one of them was either a plainclothes cop or someone who worked at the station) gathered around a crying woman and her churro cart. Apparently, it's illegal to sell food inside train stations. 1/? pic.twitter.com/sgQVvSHUik
— Sofia B. Newman (@SofiaBNewman) November 9, 2019
“No matter what the law says, there is no reason why that many officers needed to encircle, demean, and police the poverty of that woman of colour,” Newman tweeted. “It was an abuse of power, and yet another example of how broken our system is.”
The Officers Took Away Her Cart
The tweets also reported that the officers gave the woman two unfair options: give up her churro cart and receive a fine she probably wouldn’t have been able to pay, or that they would take her cart away and arrest her. It was unfair because either way, she loses her cart, which is her livelihood.
The cops also didn’t want to hear anything from her. She kept trying to speak in Spanish, but one plainclothes policeman was reportedly rolling his eyes and saying “Are you done?” and “I know you can speak English.” Then they handcuffed her and took her and her cart away.
NYPD Defends Officers’ Actions
The NYPD responded, saying, in their defence, the woman has a history of committing this minor crime. In their version of the story, the story makes her the law-breaking criminal and paints the officers as men doing their duty. They also said the woman was shortly released.