New York, NY — New York State is one of the hardest his places on the planet right now in regard to COVID-19. In New York City alone, nearly 7,000 people have died as of Monday morning from the virus. Instead of patrolling the streets and helping folks, however, a video that surfaced over the weekend, appears to show NYC's finest concerned with a small child — for selling chips and candy on the subway.
As families struggle to survive with unemployment at record highs, many folks are doing everything they can to earn enough money to simply put food on their tables. It appears that a child around 10 years of age was doing exactly that this weekend by selling chips and candy on the subway before NYPD officers swarmed in and kidnapped him.
A video taken on Friday in a Harlem subway station shows multiple NYPD officers in face masks forcibly dragging a small child away from a woman claiming to be his mother. The child was alleged to have been selling candy and bags of chips on the train — apparently a grave criminal offense in Harlem.
A witness and a person who filmed the chaotic and infuriating scene, Shaquan Jenkins told the Gothamist he was on his way home when he watched in awe as cops surrounded a child and physically seized him for selling candy.
Jenkins said he had seen the boy moving through the subway car selling candy shortly before police officers grabbed him. He says a woman who identified herself as the boy's mother repeatedly told police "that's my son."
One video shared by Jenkins on Twitter showed the distraught boy struggling with police officers as subway riders angrily object.
As the video shows, the woman is pleading with officers not to take her son — a scene Jenkins described as kidnappers stealing a child.
"We're gonna let your son go when you speak to me," one officer tells the woman.
"I'm speaking to you now!" the woman replies.
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"You're not speaking to me," the officer says to the woman.
According to Jenkins, the police had no reason to arrest the child as he had the full support of everyone on the subway. Bystanders even tried to save the child's bag of candy and chips, but Jenkins said the cops threw it in the trash.
"They looked like kidnappers, like they were trying to kidnap the little boy," Jenkins said. "I felt outraged. It’s a little boy. Can’t they talk to him on his level and say it’s not safe, go home? Why did they need three officers to take him to the precinct?"
Video from another witness shows more cops storm the train station, and at one point, the candy and chips-selling child is surrounded by nearly a dozen cops as he is dragged up the stairs and out of the subway station.
According to the Gothamist, the NYPD Transit Police maintains a precinct in the station, and Jenkins says he followed the officers as they brought the boy there.
It's unclear if the boy was further detained in the precinct. The NYPD did not immediately respond to inquiries about the incident.
“The video is upsetting and we have reached out to the NYPD for more information," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan in a statement.
As TFTP reported last month, the NYPD has claimed to slow arrests in order to decrease the prison population which is a ticking time bomb with concern to COVID-19. However, as this video shows, they clearly couldn't care less about breaking social distancing guidelines, endangering the public, and exposing a small child to disease in order to stop him from selling candy on a subway. Shameful indeed.