A man says that an undercover cop told him “it’s fine to jump the turnstile” on the New York City subway in a now-viral TikTok, sparking debate in the comments.
In the video posted by TikToker Aaron (@aarzorz) on July 18, the creator rides in a car, while explaining his story via text overlay.
“Didn’t have money in my metrocard but this man said it’s fine just jump the turnstile. so I did. It was an undercover cop,” it reads, while an edited version of the melancholic theme from Spongebob Squarepants plays in the background.
new york😍😍 you are beautiful♬ zad – Berdly
The video has amassed over 1.5 million views as of Sept. 1, with commenters accusing the officer of “entrapment,” an illegal act of convincing someone to commit a crime that they wouldn’t otherwise.
“It is because he wouldn’t have committed the crime unless the officer told him too, however he’d have to prove he wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” one commenter wrote.
“Entrapment is like leading someone to commit a crime then punishing them. This is literally entrapment, and he can’t be punished,” another said.
However, others argued that the undercover officer didn’t “coerce” him into jumping the turnstile, making his suggestion to Aaron “legal.”
“There’s no force behind that. Coercion is forcing someone to do something. Especially if the officer wasn’t in uniform, there’s no pressure to comply,” a user said.
“As a brown university law student, im telling you you’re wrong. the kid jumped at an opportunity to break the law. maybe pick up a criminal law book,” another wrote.
“Check your local state, most require it to be ‘excessive coercion,'” a third added.
In a response to a comment explaining that the punishment for jumping a turnstile is “$100 or jail,” Aaron wrote, “guess which one I picked (hint: remember I didn’t even have $2 for the train).”
The Daily Dot reached out to Aaron via TikTok comment and to the New York Police Department via email.