Incident involving man, NYPD turns physical at Harlem train stop

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Last Friday morning, an incident at the 135th Street Station in Harlem, New York, involving police and an unidentified man quickly turned physical. 

According to witnesses, a group of people allegedly didn’t pay their subway fare. Officers focused their attention on one man and attempted to question him. 

“They realized he hadn’t paid the fare but it wasn’t just him, it was three other people,” said Teona, who witnessed the incident and preferred not to give her last name. “As I got closer I saw [that] the police had already distinguished that one guy out of four people total.”

Teona captured the ensuing back and forth on her cell phone and later posted the exchange to Instagram.

Several on-lookers pleaded with the man who was being questioned by officers to “stay calm.” Two officers appear to have the man cornered, but when a third officer approaches, things get physical.

The unidentified man is taken down to the ground, and at least ten other officers immediately enter the scene.

The NYPD’s Office of Deputy Commissioner of Public Information did not immediately respond to request for comment on this incident.

Teona, who was on her way to work at the time, tells she was “shook” by the incident.

“It was horrifying,” Teona said. “I was physically shaking when I was taking the video, which is why it’s a little rattled. I commute every day on the same route, and to see something like this […] In my view, [the NYPD] never talked to him. It was just shocking to see something so small grow into something so big.” 

Video of the altercation is below via Instagram, @ladytee_t: (*Warning: Graphic Language*)