Two NYPD officers are facing unspecified discipline after booting a man from a subway station because he repeatedly asking them why they weren’t masks.
Video posted on Twitter showed a male officer pushing Andy Gilbert, 27, toward the gate of a subway station. A female officer pushed the gate open as the male pushed Gilbert out of the platform area. The video doesn’t show the confrontation that led up to that incident.
Gilbert, who lives in Queens, said he got off his downtown W train at 8th St. in the East Village around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday when he saw the cops standing on the platform without masks. A state rule mandates that requires people to cover their faces in mass transit facilities or face a $50 fine.
“Recently I started doing short videos whenever I see that and ask why the cops aren’t wearing masks,” said Gilbert,
“This morning I did the same thing. I asked both of them if they realize it’s illegal to not have a mask on in the subway. I asked, ‘Why don’t you just put on a mask?’”
“The male officer kept saying he couldn’t hear me through my mask,” said Gilbert. “Eventually the back and forth went on for two or three minutes. The male officer declared that I was being disruptive.”
At this point, the officers — who Gilbert identified by their badge numbers as Joseph Vincent and Grace Rosero Tapia — shoved the querying straphanger out the station’s emergency gate.
Gilbert and the male officer the argued through the closed emergency gate, but the argument can’t be heard over the rumble of a passing train.
Gilbert said he regularly sees cops flouting the state’s mask requirement in the subway — and has never seen officers crack down on riders who fail to wear masks.
”I’ve had police threaten me a few times for asking them why they’re parked in bike lanes, but I’ve never had any cop physically assault me,” Gilbert said.
“Cops don’t care about the law,” said Gilbert. “They just do whatever they want and there’s no accountability.”
On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said there has been “discipline imposed” on the two officers. Shea did not specify the discipline, but said the officers would not be fired or suspended.
“There’s no excuse for what I saw on that video,” said the commissioner. “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. But that’s inexcusable.”