A video went viral on social media platforms which captured the arrest of a 22-year-old mother in the subway by the NYPD officials. As claimed by the officers, the woman who can be seen in the video with her son, denied covering her face properly, even though she had a mask.
The NYPD said that they stopped the woman, Kaleemah Rozier, inside the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center subway station on Wednesday, May 13. Later, a witness of the incident who recorded the video, posted it on social media.
Soon after the video became popular, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the confrontation in a tweet and shared the footage stating, "Face coverings are important to protect everybody — they're not optional. But no one wants to see an interaction turn into this."
NYPD Arrests Mother in Subway
NYPD told NBC New York that the woman responded to the officers with "Vulgar language and repeatedly refused requests to properly wear her face covering over her nose and mouth." In the video, she can be heard yelling and cursing NYPD officials as she was being escorted out of the subway.
Among people who were present at the scene, one witness can be heard saying that "she got a baby with her — that's too much." However, in its response to the subway incident, NYPD said that the officers acted "appropriately and with respect" and the mother of the child was only arrested for her behavior.
What happened to Rozier?
While NYPD said that the woman was only arrested after her behavior warranted such action, the report revealed that she was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment. But the video of the incident has triggered a bigger controversy, focusing on the racial disparity in social distancing enforcement across New York City.
A few days ago, another video showed that NYPD officers arresting a black teenager for not wearing a mask. It also captured the officers who punched him in his head when the teen was lying on the ground with hands cuffed.
It should be noted that as per NYPD's data, the majority of 300 social distancing enforcement-related arrests between March 16 and May 5 were of black and Hispanic men. Even the district attorney's office revealed that the NYPD arrested 40 people for violations related to social-distancing between March 17 and May 7. Among these cases 35 were black, four were Hispanic and just one was white.