When a Philadelphia transit officer attempted to detain a ticket-scam suspect near a train station platform last week, surveillance video records the suspect turning on the cop and wrestling him to the ground, pinning him between a glass barrier and a bench.
But the video also shows a crowd of at least seven transit customers observing the fight, including one who pulled out her phone to record the incident.
Police say that apparently none of the witnesses made a 911 call.
“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, referring to the bystander who recorded the fight.
A cashier who noticed the altercation after the cop was on the ground and kicking the barrier finally called for help.
Notably a similar incident happened at the same train station last week, WTXF reported. And again video captured two plain-clothes officers getting beaten up in front of a much larger crowd at Cecil B. Moore station in north Philadelphia.
When asked by WXTF what they would do in a similar situation, interviewees outside the train station all said they at least would have called 911.
“I’m shocked, shocked,” one woman said in regard to the injured cop, “’cause he’s a human being, too…right?”
“This is the City of Brotherly Love, and this is going on?” another interviewee said. “Crazy.”
Nestel says he’s “horrified” and “frightened” for his officers in the wake of these two incidents. “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. “And we’re not getting that in return, and it’s starting to take its toll, and it’s really concerning me.”
Police say the officer who was pinned under the bench, Samuel Washington, has still not returned to work due to his injuries.
Here’s a report from WTXF-TV:
Featured image via WXTF.