Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Officers are under investigation after cell phone video captured them allegedly pushing and shoving an African American man holding his infant daughter because he had not paid his $2.25 transit fare.
The video, embedded below, begins with a view of the officers arguing with Ellis Smith, 20, about the fare. At one point, Smith lifts the child up above his head in the his seat.
Over a minute in to the video, another police officer boards the train at a scheduled stop. He handcuffs one of Smith’s wrists and leads him out of the train.
At 1:32, when Smith and the officers have exited the train a commotion breaks out on the platform. Smith is then allegedly pushed and shoved by officers and eventually you can see an officer pin his arm behind his back against a wall while his daughter is still in his arms.
“He’s still got his daughter in his hand,” a bystander says. “Yo, let him drop his daughter.”
Bystanders try to intervene and more than a dozen officers try to control the crowd, reports Raw Story.
SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel said he is unhappy with how his officers handled the situation.
“I never want a child’s safety being jeopardized. This is the type of incident that causes us to reflect on what we tell our police officers and how we tell them,” Nestel said in a statement.
The incident was also captured on the train’s surveillance video, reports New York Daily News.
SEPTA officials are now reviewing their policies and procedures while the officers are being investigated.
Smith was charged with fare evasion, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
Photo Source: Screenshot/YouTube