People do not need to imagine a world where the police would drag a person off of a city bus for not wearing a personal protective mask because it actually happened earlier this week in Philadelphia.
A viral video circulating online shows several Philadelphia police officers, answering a disturbance call, enter a bus and forcibly remove one passenger for not wearing a protective mask—a health recommendation by the Center for Disease Control.
The Inquirer reports:
Philadelphia police responded to “calls of a disturbance” near 11th and Market Streets about 8:25 a.m. Friday after a passenger was repeatedly asked to leave the bus and refused. The passenger was not arrested or cited, according to police. The incident is under investigation.
“The police were responding to the fact that the person was asked to leave the bus and refused,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy said during the city’s news conference Friday. “I would expect my officers to continue to do that and support our SEPTA workers.”
The man refused. The police took action. And the rest is history.
But, now the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is all but admitting they took things too far as they are reversing the decision.
Philadelphia has reversed its decision to force bus riders to wear masks after the video went viral of police officers dragging a man off a bus yesterday…
GOOD! But it should've never happened to begin with.https://t.co/RnUDh5f1pD
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 11, 2020
From the report:
SEPTA said it’s no longer enforcing a facial covering requirement that went into effect Thursday, and will not deny entry to passengers who are not wearing a mask or covering. When it announced its new “lifeline” schedule this week, SEPTA said it was asking all riders to wear masks or facial coverings for the safety of riders and employees.
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“We didn’t do a good enough job notifying the public about this,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said Friday.
Watch the video of the incident below (Caution: The video contains explicit language):
This is a video out of Philadelphia.
These police are throwing this man off of a SEPTA bus because he refused to wear a mask.
That is the “crime” that he committed.
The United States of America: 2020. pic.twitter.com/KXr5SGBx6K
— #AMPFEST2020 ~ MIAMI ~ OCTOBER 8 – 11 (@AMPFEST_USA) April 10, 2020
@SEPTA @SEPTANews @SEPTA_SOCIAL is it really a requirement that all riders wear masks? If yes, has this requirement been widely publicized? Do the bus drivers know? Why not just refuse the rider access to the bus, or give him a mask? https://t.co/fv6VKztbzh
— 👸🏾Angela (@ASmith_Uncommon) April 10, 2020