A woman selling churros in a New York City subway station was captured on video being handcuffed and hauled away by police officers.
Sofia B. Newman captured the encounter last Friday involving several cops, one of them in plainclothes, surrounding the woman, identified as Elsa Morochoduchi, who was crying. When Newman asked if the woman could keep her cart if she just went outside, the officers said no.
Newman also said the officers continuously rolled their eyes when Morochoduchi spoke Spanish and eventually cuffed her to take her away.
The NYPD later tweeted that the woman was not arrested but was given a summons. They also said she had received 10 summonses in the past six months.
Morochoduchi spoke about the incident during a demonstration on Monday, tearing up as she recalled the details. She said after she was removed from the platform, she was taken to an area where the police couldn’t be filmed and was laughed at by the officers. She said they ignored her pleas not to take her cart from her.
"They took everything from me," she said.
Many have come to Morochoduchi’s defense in light of the incident, including city council members. However, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday defended the NYPD officers involved in the incident.
"I understand the facts. The facts are she was there multiple times and was told multiple times that’s not a place you can be, and it’s against the law and it’s creating congestion... The officers comported themselves properly, from what I could see" he said.
The MTA prohibits food vendors without a permit inside its subways and platforms, but the New York Daily News cited how difficult it actually is to obtain a permit—forcing many to vend illegally or pay thousands for permits on the black market.
Local news outlet Bushwick Daily shared images of another churro vendor appearing to be handcuffed in a Brooklyn subway station on Monday.https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1194354027045277696
Queen just wants to sell churros in peace