Outrage After Woman Selling Churros Handcuffed In Brooklyn Subway

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 10, 2019 - 1:10 pm

iStock/Getty Images


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The NYPD is coming under fire for handcuffing a churro vendor at a Brooklyn subway station in an incident captured on video.

The Twitter video posted by Sofia Newman shows a woman with her churro cart in tears as she’s surrounded by at least four officers at the Broadway Junction station in East New York on Friday night.

“Why are you taking her s--- away? She’s crying,” Newman can be heard saying in the video, which has been viewed over two million times.

“You’re taking her s--- away. She’s crying. Can you just like let her keep her stuff?”

“It’s illegal to sell food inside the subway station and we warned her multiple times,” an officer tells her.

“Can she just go outside and keep her stuff?” Newman responds.

“No,” the officer says.

The officers eventually handcuffed the woman and took her cart away.

Councilmember Antonio Reynoso calls the incident an example of the oppression of poor people.

“These are harmless poor people looking to make an honest living,” Reynoso said.

He said the woman was an unlicensed vendor but that it doesn’t warrant the kind of response from the NYPD.

“What do we do is we criminalize poverty and that’s a perfect example of that,” Reynoso said.

In a statement, the NYPD said it was responding to numerous complaints about health concerns and pedestrian flow at the station.

The departments said the woman was let go with a summons within minutes.

Among the politicians responding to the incident is Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who said the NYPD doesn’t need to harm people just trying to earn a living.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said it raises serious questions about the increased police presence in the city’s subway system.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams blames the language barrier, although the NYPD says the woman was warned in Spanish.