Video of Man Tasered on Subway Raises Questions About Policing

In an interview, Ms. Wiley said Mr. Crowell’s arrest showed that “while we do need to grapple with public safety and how we deploy police officers effectively, that more police doesn’t lead to public safety.”

“This just has nothing to do with public safety,” she said. “Not a thing.”

Anthony Beckford, an activist and former City Council candidate who posted the video online Wednesday, said in an interview that Mr. Adams should “sit down with advocates and get a gist of what’s really going on.”

“The police need to be removed from dealing with cases like this,” said Mr. Beckford, who was sent the video by a person he did not identify. “If that is your response to people who can’t afford the fare, that is a problem.”

In describing the events surrounding Mr. Crowell’s arrest, the police said on Wednesday that he had been arrested several times in the past. Ms. Bonsu responded by accusing the police of “character assassination.”

“This is classic N.Y.P.D. gaslighting to divert attention from their own bad behavior and violence,” she said. The confrontation, she added, was “the latest in a long history of the N.Y.P.D. abusing their authority to physically assault Black people in our city.”

David R. Jones, a transportation authority board member and the president of the Community Service Society, a nonprofit organization that advocates for poor New Yorkers, said that in theory he did not oppose the police stopping people who did not pay the subway fare, giving them tickets and arresting them if need be.

The problem, he said, was that such stops were not carried out equitably.

“The people who are stopped and arrested — and this seems to continue to this day — are 93 percent Black and brown,” he said. “I want a system that doesn’t hemorrhage money in terms of fare evasion but I also want a system that doesn’t lead to confrontations that are totally unnecessary.”

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