One Philadelphia SEPTA transit officer paid a hefty price when he tried to detain a fare jumper near a train station platform last week. Surveillance video shows the suspect wrestling the cop to the ground, pinning him against a glass barrier and bench.
The video also shows a crowd of at least seven watching the fight, including one who took the time to record the incident with her phone.
“You know my immediate thought was ‘Shame on you – why don’t you use that phone to call 911?'” transit police Chief Thomas Nestel told WTXF-TV. Once the officer was on the ground, a cashier noticed and stepped up by calling for help.
The suspect, Ernest Hays, was avoiding arrest when he threw SEPTA police officer Samuel Washington on the ground. Washington is yet to return to work due to his injuries.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, this is not an isolated incident. Surveillance video also captured two plain-clothes officers getting beaten up in front of a larger crowd at the same Cecil B. Moore station in north Philadelphia last week.
When interviewed by WXTF-TV, one person outside the station couldn’t believe no one called 911.
“This is the City of Brotherly Love, and this is going on?” the interviewee said. “Crazy.”
If you think apathy only happens in Philadelphia, think again. In May, a mentally disabled man in Arkansas was beaten while bystanders recorded the incident, according to website Philly.com.
That same month, a homeless man in California died on a street corner while onlookers either watched or filmed with their cellphones what was happening right before their eyes.
Nestel is now “frightened” for his officers after the two train station incidents and apparent lack of civic duty.
“They go out every day, and they work really hard, and they try to make it safe for people… but they rely on people to help,” he told WTXF-TV. “And we’re not getting that in return, and it’s starting to take its toll and it’s really concerning.”
Sources: WTXF-TV, Philly.com