CAPTURED ON CAMERA: Philadelphia police forcibly remove bus rider for not wearing face mask
PHILADELPHIA (KYW/CNN) - After police were caught on camera allegedly removing a rider by force from a bus, Philadelphia’s transit agency rescinded their policy to refuse service to passengers not wearing masks.
The incident occurred on Friday morning in the same week that the agency, SEPTA, gave its operators the right to refuse to transport riders not wearing face masks.
Video footage captures police physically dragging a man from a bus as he resists and refuses to get off. Three officers are seen removing him by holding his hands and leg.
Police say the man was asked multiple times before by the driver to get off the bus because he wasn’t wearing a face mask. He was also warned by police to exit the bus or be physically removed.
The man was not arrested or cited and police are investigating the incident.
The face mask policy was part of the SEPTA’s implementation of a “Lifeline" service plan that started a few days ago after dozens of employees became infected with COVID-19 and at least three died from complications of the virus.
The employee union forced the authority’s plan after stating there were too many riders in the vehicles, and many were taking non-essential trips that put operators and other riders at risk.
However, after seeing the viral reaction to the incident, SEPTA switched gears and now only urges their customers wear facial covering instead denying entry to those who refuse.
The Philadelphia mayor said he didn’t have any problems with the removal of the passenger but did say he has not seen the video.