The pair of maskless officers who shoved a subway rider out of a Manhattan station Tuesday will likely lose vacation days over the confrontation, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who on Wednesday called the two cops’ behavior “absolutely inexcusable.”
“There’s no excuse for what I saw in that video. We’re better than that,” Shea told reporters at NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza during a press conference on Oct. 20. “Will they lose time? Quite possible, but that’ll take place coming forth.”
The top cop then confirmed that the couple of cops will get so-called command disciplines, which can mean a loss of up to 10 vacation days.
But neither officer will be fired or suspended for booting commuter Andrew Gilbert out the 8th Street Station Tuesday morning after the subway rider asked them to mask up and comply with a federal mandate to wear a face covering on public transit to stem the spread of COVID-19.
#NYC #NYPD harassing this subway rider for having the nerve to ask them to put on masks! #notabovethelaw@NYCMayor pic.twitter.com/iEK8qKh0MF
— ekki spyrja mig að því (@toriahall) October 19, 2021
“Nobody’s getting fired over this incident, nobody’s getting suspended over this incident,” Shea said. “But at the same time, I’m not in any way shape or form attempting to downplay that. I think we’re better than that, I think the public deserves better than that, and frankly, I know the men and women every day are better than that.”
MTA’s acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber also had few kinds words for the two officers when asked about the underground dustup, saying their conduct was undermining the agency’s efforts to get COVID-cautious New Yorkers back on mass transit.
“We’re trying to bring riders back to the system. I don’t want to see them pushed out of the system by people who are not complying with the rules that the federal government sets? Come on, enough,” Lieber told reporters during a press conference Wednesday. “Set an example, you are the people who are responsible for getting everybody to comply with masking.”
Gilbert said he got off his train on his way to work Tuesday morning and saw the two police without a mask and started filming them, while asking them to put on a face covering.
The male cop claimed he couldn’t hear Gilbert, the rider said, before the cop “just snapped,” grabbing him by his shirt and unceremoniously shoving him out through the station’s emergency exit gate.
The confrontation was caught on camera by a fellow straphanger who posted the video on Twitter, which soon went viral after amNewYork Metro first reported on it.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was “troubled” by the incident as well at his morning press briefing, but punted to police brass to keep their members in line.
“We’ve given this instruction a thousand times. And if you’re gonna be in law enforcement, you actually have to participate in following the law,” hizzoner said. “It’s up to supervisors to step up now, just tell people if you’re in the subway, we’re telling everyone in the subway you’ve got to wear masks. That includes police officers, period.”