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A now-viral video shows officers from the New York Police Department detaining a brown man in a subway station for carrying a toy gun.
Luz Cruz, aka Instagram user @harley_punxx, shared the recording of the incident in a series of videos on their story on Thursday. According to the signs seen in the video, the incident took place at Myrtle Ave subway station in Brooklyn.
It starts with a post where the user warns that a lot of cops were at the Myrtle Ave. subway stop. In the next photo, a man is seen being cuffed and surrounded by police.
“A brown person got arrested because he had a nerf gun on the M train and some white man reported him and the cops descended on the Myrtle Broadway train stop,” says the text on the photo.
The video shows at least six cops, some in NYPD jackets and some in plainclothes, rushing toward a subway car. The man is seen in handcuffs, and police are seen taking the statement from a white man inside the subway. Later in the video, one of the cops is seen holding a blue and orange toy gun.
The man is escorted in handcuffs by the police, but it’s not clear if he was arrested, as carrying a toy gun isn’t against the law. The Daily Dot has reached out to NYPD.
Cruz, the Instagram user who shared the video, told the Daily Dot that police waved around the blue and orange gun in the handcuffed man’s face.
Decolonize This Place, which has been sharing photos and videos of similar occurrences on social media, also shared the video and has since garnered 53,000 views.
“Take a good look at this White man, and ask yourself, what the fuck was he afraid of??” the caption says. “How the fuck was his life in danger?? Who are the police actually designed to protect and serve??”
Decolonize This Place has been organizing against cop presence on the subways, which disproportionately affects people of color, since the October arrest of a Black teen by a dozen cops for fare evasion. The group is holding a Day of Action on Jan. 31 to protest the increasing presence of the NYPD.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque