New York City hospital worker accused of trying to take bike from Black teens in viral video. Bellevue hospital now investigating.
A New York City hospital worker has come under fire after a video went viral on social media showing her argue with teenagers outside her place of work.
The video shows a woman in scrubs with an ID badge from Bellevue Hospital after she tried to allegedly take a Citi Bike from a Black teenager. Citi Bikes are publicly available bikes that are left at various docking stations throughout New York City for anyone to rent for a small fee.
The video shows the woman struggling to grab the bike handlebars away from the teen, who says he paid for the Citi Bike. She shouts for help and the teen tells her: “This is my bike, it’s on my account.”
The woman is seen trying to grab the teen’s phone, and tells him not to touch her. He replies that she is the one touching him.
The teen’s friends ask the woman to stop and at one point, she looks like she’s sobbing — but the teens tell her, “you’re not crying.” “How did you stop crying? Not a tear came out, miss,” one of the teens says when the woman abruptly stops.
A man who appears to also work at the hospital tries to intervene and the video ends with the woman getting off the bike.
The video has been viewed millions of times online and was shared by prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who called the incident “unacceptable.”
“A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC. She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat,” Crump wrote in the tweet, shared Sunday night. “This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!”
On Monday, Bellevue Hospital released a statement saying they are aware of the incident, which appears to involve one of the hospital’s employees. “We are sorry this happened and we are reviewing the incident,” the statement reads. “NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is committed to providing the highest quality of care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion.”
It is unclear if the teens are taking legal action or if Crump is planning to represent them. CBS News has reached out to Crump for further information about the incident.
In a statement to CBS News, a spokesperson for NYC Health + Hospitals, the hospital system Bellevue belongs to, said: “We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing. The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending a review. As a health system we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind.”
In 2020, a woman named Amy Cooper was filmed berating a Black man birdwatching in Central Park, telling him she was going to call the police. After the video went viral, Cooper was fired from her job. She later lost a lawsuit alleging her former employer showed racist and sexist behavior in her firing.