Body camera footage has been released after NYPD officers surrounded and tased a Black man on a subway train earlier this month. David Crowell, 29, has been arrested on July 6 for allegedly helping someone avoid paying the $2.75 fare. Police claim Crowell allowed a man to enter the 116th Street Station in Manhattan by opening an emergency gate for him.
“Look, first of all, I’ll state the obvious: Fare evasion is not acceptable. Whether you do it yourself, or you help someone else, it’s not acceptable, and, you know, from the – what I understand of the NYPD body camera footage, the individual involved was very aggressive, and in some ways, even threatening towards police, that’s just not acceptable either” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.
Body camera footage released by the police departments displays Crowell standing inside the train car while officers surround him. ‘F-ck the police,” he said. While he continued to make offensive remarks and gestures that he started when the cops first confronted him on the train car about letting the other man in. He then lifted up his shirt, apparently displaying a tattoo on his back, then told officers, “You bust that sh-t, Imma run you.”
A witness captured a video of the incident and sharing to social media show Crowell and bystanders telling offices. The video has gone viral and shows at least seven officers surround Crowell on the train. “Yo, I paid,” he said. Crowell wrestled with the officers until one deployed a taser. The taser hit him in the back and caused him to fall to the ground, screaming in pain. Witness could be heard screaming and pleading with the officers during the ordeal.
NYPD News Twitter page sent out a tweet to explain the incident from their vantage point, “Body-worn camera footage shows the man cursing at officers, refusing to exit the train, & threatening them. With additional officers on scene, the man continued to resist arrest, prompting the use of a taser. He was subsequently taken into custody.”
Mayor de Blasio claims the video needs to be explained. “The goal is to de-escalate. Clearly here we did not end up with a de-escalated situation. So, this needs to be looked at carefully to see what can be done differently going forward,” he said. As of now, the officer who deployed the stun gun has not been identified.
Crowell has been arrested on charges that included resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.
“One thing I would note is the fare is $2.75. We have six salaried officers on here,” said Jennvine Wong with the Legal Aid Society’s cop accountability project. “The money spent would have been much better spent buying Metrocards for those who can’t afford them.”