Police in Harlem pinned down and arrested a man they say was illegally selling candy on a subway platform, video shows.
The four officers were seen in cellphone video holding the man down on the subway platform for the 4/5/6 trains on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Police said they had asked 26-year-old Byron Shark for his ID several times, but he refused.
When the officers tried to arrest him for peddling the subway sweets on the northbound platform, they said he resisted, forcing them to bring him to the ground — which is when witnesses started recording the incident.
Shark has been arrested eight times since 2013, police said, for charges including criminal possession of a weapon, assault and menacing with a weapon.
The incident comes after two unlicensed churro vendors were removed from Brooklyn subway stations and issued summonses this week, in what critics are calling an over-policing of the subways.
At a rally held Wednesday in Brooklyn, advocates accused the NYPD of too strictly enforcing laws that aren’t essential, and want police to focus their efforts elsewhere.
The NYPD told NBC New York that officers this year have issued 903 summonses for unlicensed vending in the city’s transit system — just one percent of the 81,000 issued so far this year.
The MTA bans the sale of food inside subway stations unless vendors have a permit. The NYPD says they have received numerous complaints of vendors without permits, prompting health concerns.
However, the widely publicized recent incidents have raised questions regarding police strategies in the New York City subways.
In October, the NYPD was also under fire after a video of officers pulling a gun on a 19-year-old fare evasion suspect was posted on social media.
Another incident caught on camera in the same week showed an NYPD officer punching a 15-year-old in the face amid a scuffle between two groups of teens and police.