WATCH: Dozing Off After Work While Black Now Illegal on NYC Subway Trains

Human Rights

A video has emerged of a brutal confrontation between New York City police officers and a man who apparently fell asleep on a mostly empty train car. The entire incident, which reportedly occurred at the 57th Street station, was recorded by a passerby.

The man asks repeatedly why he is being arrested, but is given no answer that is audible. Although the video does not show what started the confrontation, it seems that the man was sleeping, he says, on his way home from work. He clearly does not understand why this is a crime, and why he should be handcuffed and arested for it. The officers tell him to "relax" as they try to get his hands behind his back. "Ain't no relax," he says. He does not go along with being handcuffed, but does not strike out at the officers either.

The person who recorded the video seems to think the police behavior is out of line as well. The man appears grateful she is there to record it, and just asks her to keep recording.

The two officers call for backup and the man is violently wrestled to the ground. The person recording the video moves in closer to get the badge numbers of all the police officers as well. She is clearly outraged and lets the cops know she has all of their badge numbers.

The Mass Transit Authority Rules of Conduct state that sleeping is allowed if it is not bothering other passengers, and you're not supposed to take up more than one seat. It is not clear if the man was even doing this, but there are very few passengers to be bothered on this particular train. Snoring, apparently, is not against the law. 

Now, does anyone think for a minute that if a white man (or woman) wearing a suit (or wearing anything) dozed off on the way home from work that they would be subject to this sort of treatment and arrest?

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