Sarah Jane Comrie, the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue employee who was caught on camera appearing to take a Citi Bike from a Black man, has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her legal fees tied to the viral incident.
Comrie's uncle, Bob Roe, created the fundraiser asking fans for donations to help "save her lively hood and reputation." After the viral footage took the internet by storm, Comrie, was placed on leave from her job as a physician assistant at Bellevue.
The Citi Bike Incident
The viral footage showed Comrie, who was pregnant at the time, in a dispute with a Black man over a Citi Bike. In the video, Comrie appeared adamant about mounting a Citi bike despite the black man informing her that he had already paid for the ride.
The video, filmed on May 12, showed Comrie screaming for help and appearing to cry as she continued to tussle with the black man while his friend continued to record. Comrie drew widespread criticism in the wake of the viral video and accusations of racism.
Days after the incident, Comrie's attorney, Justin Marino, posted a statement on his firm's website responding to the viral video and disputing accusations that her behavior in the video was racist. Marion also noted that her client had receipts to prove she had reserved the bike.
He maintained that Comrie paid for the bike and got on to ride when "no individuals were on or touching" the two-wheeler. According to the lawyer, as she was getting ready to take off, that's when the Black rider and four other young Black men approached Comrie claiming that the bike was theirs. The situation quickly escalated.
Comrie 'Unfairly Painted as a Racist Karen'
On the campaign page, which has raised over $100,000, Roe penned a weepy sob story claiming that his niece was "unfairly painted as a racist Karen."
"The facts have since proven this is a lie, but the damage has been done," the concerned uncle wrote. "In fact, Sarah is a dedicated healthcare worker who is six months pregnant. She holds racial justice and equity dear, and has dedicated her life to serving NYC's most challenged individuals."
Roe said his niece wasn't seeking to cause more controversy by asking for donations, but with all of the hefty legal bills "mounting" up, she was left with no choice. "Please help," he pled on the GoFundMe page.