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NYPD cops refuse to wear masks, boot rider from NYC subway for raising issue

Clayton Guse, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — A pair of unmasked NYPD cops shoved a straphanger out of a Manhattan subway station on Tuesday after he says he repeatedly asked them why they weren’t following a state rule that requires people to cover their faces in mass transit facilities.

Andy Gilbert, 27, said he got off his downtown W train at 8th St. in the East Village around 8:40 a.m. when he saw the cops standing on the platform without masks.

“Recently I started doing short videos whenever I see that and ask why the cops aren’t wearing masks,” said Gilbert, who lives in Queens.

“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?’”

A state rule that took effect in September 2020 requires everyone to cover their faces on the subway or face a $50 fine.

“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.

Video posted on Twitter shows a male officer pushing Gilbert toward the gate. 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.

An NYPD spokesperson said the incident is under internal review.

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.


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