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After video goes viral of cops dragging man off Philly bus reportedly for not wearing mask, transit authority does about-face

Suddenly face masks are no longer mandatory

Image source: Facebook video screenshot

TheBlaze on Friday noted a WHYY-TV report saying multiple police officers were caught on video dragging a man off a Philadelphia bus for not wearing a mask.

Well, a day later the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority changed its policy and is now letting riders onboard buses and trains without face coverings, ABC News reported.

What's the background?

SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch told WHYY on Friday that the agency's recent "request" that riders wear face coverings had become a rule — and that those who don't comply can be restricted from boarding their vehicles.

"The covering can be as simple as a shirt, bandana, or anything else someone can grab at home before they head out," Busch told the station in an email. "At a minimum, these masks and facial coverings could help keep the person wearing them from spreading germs, and if everyone wears them, we would have a great deal of added protection."

A viral video originally posted to Facebook that same day — but soon taken down — showed uniformed and masked Philadelphia police officers lifting and pulling a protesting rider off a SEPTA bus, WHYY said.

"Get the f*** off me!" the man yelled as the officers, grabbing his arms and legs, finally got him to the sidewalk and pushed him backward.

At least eight officers were seen surrounding the man.

Image source: Facebook video screenshot

After they released their hold on him, the man's cellphone — which fell from him during the struggle — was tossed on the sidewalk in front of him.

Image source: Facebook video screenshot

"I want all y'all badge numbers, too," the man told the officers as they began moving away.

At one point, the man yelled at the cops "I'll f*** you up," called them "pussies," and made a reference to being "one-on-one" with them.

Here's a version of the clip on Twitter. (Content warning: Language):

The unidentified man wasn't arrested or cited for the incident, ABC News reported.

What did police have to say?

"A SEPTA bus driver requested that an unruly passenger leave the bus several times, and the passenger repeatedly refused," Philadelphia police said in a statement, the network noted. "PPD Officers arrived on location, and after being made aware of the driver's request, also ordered the male to leave the bus several times. The male again refused, at which point he was physically removed by the officers."

Anything else?

ABC News added that the incident led to online outrage as well as SEPTA's policy change. And while the transit agency no longer is making face coverings mandatory, it still is asking that commuters follow recent federal guidelines saying everybody should use masks, the network reported.

One last thing…
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