BROOKLYN — Video of a woman being handcuffed for selling churros at a Brooklyn subway station is going viral after being posted to Twitter by a passerby.
The video, posted early Saturday morning, shows police officers speaking to the woman at the Broadway Junction station, where she was holding a cart of food that she was seemingly trying to sell.
Sofia Newman, an actress based in the city, according to her Twitter bio, wrote that cops gave the woman an ultimatum: either surrender the cart and receive a fine, or they’d take it from her and arrest her.
According to Newman’s posts, the woman was cuffed and her cart was taken away.
According to the MTA website, it’s illegal to sell or distribute food inside of the transit system.
“No matter what the law says,” Newman wrote, “there is no reason why that many officers needed to encircle, demean, and police the poverty of that woman of color. It was an abuse of power, and yet another example of how broken our system is.”
Back in September, the MTA announced plans to hire about 500 new transit cops, with the agency seeking to fix issues in the system impacting the “quality of life.”
The transit cops was intended to battle the increasing number of fare evasions and assaults on workers, as well as tackle the homelessness crisis to better the quality of life of all commuters.
According to Gothamist, police said the woman had been issued multiple summonses this year for unlicensed vending at the Broadway Junction station, and police have fielded numerous complains about unlicensed vendors at that station in particular.
Newman tweeted Saturday that the woman was released and given a civil summons.
Aliza Chasan contributed.