Aug. 31, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A NYPD officer taunted a subway rider at an Astoria station Saturday morning after the straphanger snapped a photo of the cop without a mask covering his face.
Alex Fermin took a photo of two officers who had their masks under their chins inside the 46th Street station and continued on his way, he said on Twitter.
The officers, however, called him out for taking the photo and allegedly followed him onto the platform.
Fermin said one of the officers, Karim Powell, was harassing him so he pulled out his phone to record the interaction.
NYPD officer Powell and his buddies harassing me at 46th St. station after I took a perfectly legal photo of them not adhering to mask guidelines… he said “what are you gonna do about it” and “you know what’s the problem with you guys… it’s because America is so free” pic.twitter.com/FL4tsv2fS3
— Alex Fermin (@alex_fermin_) August 28, 2021
Powell — who had his mask below his chin — asked Fermin what he was going to do about him not wearing his mask properly.
“Tell the city and tell the mayor,” Powell said in the video.
The NYPD requires all officers to wear masks over their nose and mouths when interacting with the public, regardless of their vaccination status. The MTA also requires the public to wear masks inside subway stations and on trains.
“You can’t tell me when to wear my mask, alright?” Powell said repeatedly in the video recording.
He then started to walk away, but turned around and said the problem with people like Fermin is that America is free.
“You know what’s the problem with you guys?” Powell said in the video. “Because America is so free, that’s the problem.”
Fermin said he was left shaken by the interaction.
“I’m still experiencing PTSD from prior NYPD violence…so now I’m just shaking and trying to calm my racing heart,” he tweeted afterwards.
Fermin told multiple outlets that he was arrested during a protest following the death of George Floyd last summer. He said Saturday’s interaction triggered lingering trauma from his arrest.
The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The subway rider was taunting and harassing the cops. Interrogating someone for not wearing a mask while walking on a subway platform purely for social media views. The platforms are well over 100 degrees in the summer and it wasn’t crowded. Hysteria over nothing. Claiming PTSD as the result of the police proves how unhinged this person is. Meanwhile would this person interrogate aggressive homeless on an actual subway car? Unlikely.
How do you know any of this?
This guy should be suspended without pay; probably his partner too for apparently thinking this is acceptable behavior.
Masks should be up regardless of who you are. Vaccinated or not. While officers should lead by example when in uniform, whose to say that same person isn’t going to wear their mask later on. I see people in stores without masks, walking the streets without masks, people don’t care. Keep your distance and mask up, do your part. Nothing triggers others like telling them to mask up… my 2 year old pulled his mask down to drink his water and security told me to mask him up or leave… it’s triggering but the guy should’ve kept walkin…
That guy took a picture then record comfict. Not his business. He should complain 311. Second police officer left follow them you should walk way. Stay home.
Sounds like this guy is ready to make sure all this problematic freedom is nipped right in the bud.
Easy to understand what is meant by “America is so free.” The NYPD is filled with PO’s that would love a fascist government. Be warned.
Only a fascist “mandates” mask…
I would suspend these officers for committing health violations and take them to Covid ICUs in the local hospital to see what patients and healthcare workers are dealing with.
I can’t believe that you would do that. Is it possible they were walking around and riding trains without a mask? I doubt maybe they were overheated and needed “fresh air” 😵💫😷 They know their job and most of them are great so why do this? Do you have any video of you confronting passengers?
Fermin said he was left shaken by the interaction. “I’m still experiencing PTSD from prior NYPD violence…so now I’m just shaking and trying to calm my racing heart,” he tweeted afterwards. HAHHAAHHAHHAHAH then avoid the cops at all costs. Why confront them? Please. This herb is looking for more followers and to stir up trouble. Stay home