NYPD Defends Officers Caught On Video Arresting Woman Selling Churros Inside Subway Station – CBS New York
It happened Friday inside the Broadway Junction subway station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
A Twitter video that has more than 1 million views shows three uniformed officers and one in plain clothes surrounding a woman selling churros.
After more than a minute of the officers speaking with the woman, a second Twitter video shows the officers leading her away in cuffs.
At one point the person filming the incident asks, “Can you just, like, let her keep her stuff?” An officer responds, “No ma’am.”
It’s not clear what happened before the video was shot. The officers’ actions are now generating huge backlash.
“You know, I think it’s ridiculous. She’s not harming anyone. She’s just selling them. You know, everybody comes, they take the train, there’s people sometimes that skip breakfast or whatever, wanted a little snack, they buy it off her and that’s it. Just an honest living. An honest living,” one woman said.
Council Member Stephen Levin tweeted in part, “Why is a woman selling churros getting cuffed? Is this seriously affecting anyone’s ‘quality of life?’”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams tweeted, “There was a doorway right there, and a woman selling churros who could’ve been persuaded to just leave [without] a fine or arrest.”
But not everyone feels the officers were in the wrong.
“Come on, you gotta leave sooner or later. You’re violating the law like that,” one man said.
In response, the NYPD released a statement explaining that the woman is an unlicensed vendor who was told that she would be issued a summons and her property would be taken away if she didn’t comply.
The NYPD said, “This individual has been issued ten summonses in the last five months for unlicensed vending at the same station. The Command has received numerous complaints regarding unlicensed vendors at Broadway Junction due to health concerns and individuals interfering with pedestrian flow.”
Police say the woman refused to cooperate and was briefly handcuffed before being released. They say her property was vouchered as evidence and the woman was released within minutes.