The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) says it will no longer enforce a mandatory mask policy after a viral video of a man being dragged off a bus for not wearing one, which caused a massive uproar.
The video shows several Philadelphia police officers physically removing the man, who later says he was removed for not wearing a mask.
Philadelphia police received “calls of a disturbance” near 11th and Market Streets around 8:25 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2020 after a passenger was asked on multiple occasions to leave the bus and refused. The police reported that the passenger was not arrested nor received a citation.
“The police were responding to the fact that the person was asked to leave the bus and refused,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy recounted during the city’s news conference on April 10. “I would expect my officers to continue to do that and support our SEPTA workers.”
“We didn’t do a good enough job notifying the public about this,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said on Friday.
The video went viral on social media.
do riders know that they might be pulled off a SEPTA bus by 10 cops for not having a mask? pic.twitter.com/NnHXJC02E8
— Philly Transit Riders Union (@phillyTRU) April 10, 2020
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said during a news conference earlier in the week that the city “would strongly recommend” riders wear masks when going on public transportation.
“Remember, wearing a mask is about really protecting the people around you, and you’re around people when you’re in a bus or in a subway,” he stated.
Cities and states across the country are experimenting with several policies to handle the Wuhan Virus.
The pandemic is real, but policymakers will have to balance public health with respect for civil liberties, overall convenience for Americans, and economic health.
Portland Experiences Over a 100% Increase in Shootings After Anti-Gun Violence Police Force is Disbanded
In July of 2020, the city of Portland experienced 15 homicides.
According to Portland police, this is the most killings the city has experienced in one month in over three decades.
So far in 2020, 24 people have died due to homicides in Portland.
Oregon Live reported that the most recent killing took place on July 28, 2020 when a 34-year-old woman was stabbed at a Northeast Portland home after coming back from a vigil mourning the death of 27-year-old Tyrell Penney, who was murdered in a shooting on July 29.
In July 2020, there have been 63 shootings, while there was 28 in July 2019 per a Police Bureau report.
Although homicides, assaults, burglaries and vandalism have increased this year compared to 2019, total person-to-person and property crimes have plummeted compared to previous years, according to the bureau’s report.
Police Chief Chuck Lovell said on July 30 that he’s very worried about the uptick in violence and is shifting officers from patrol units to the detective division in order to shore up follow-up investigations.
He also explained that the bureau had to cut its Gun Violence Reduction Team in accordance to new policy changes the City Council ushered in. The team, which counted on 34 members, was disbanded on July 1 in response to budget cuts to police units that have allegedly targeted a disproportionate number of blacks during routine traffic stops.
Like many cities in the country, Portland is starting to embrace leftist radicalism on matters of law enforcement by considering moves to defund the police.
Oregon is already one of the more anti-gun states in the country, so lawful individuals in Portland don’t have many options at their disposal for self-defense. With police being gutted, regular citizens have even fewer options at their disposal for security.
This has obviously not registered with political elites and represents why many Americans will likely leave cities in masse in search of jurisdictions that actually bother to provide basic law enforcement infrastructure.
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