A New York City college student who asked two cops why they weren’t wearing face masks got plenty of attitude but not much of an answer on Tuesday.
TikTok video (see it below) from Mihai Ciocan shows him confronting the officers in a Brooklyn subway station a day after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began imposing $50 fines for those failing to comply with the anti-coronavirus mask mandate on public transit.
“Does the fine apply to just me or you guys if you don’t wear a mask?” Ciocan asked.
One officer said they don’t have to wear a mask because Ciocan is standing 6 feet away from them. But the student pointed out that the two cops were standing well within 6 feet of each other.
The second officer, who had a mask hanging from his badge, snidely dismissed the observation, likening Ciocan’s questioning to someone who would call the police on a person selling water bottles. “All right, Karen,” he scoffed. “You’re like the male version of Karen. Have a nice day … Take care, Karen.”
Ciocan told NBC New York that the insult Karen ― which has become slang for an unreasonably outraged, usually white woman ― “wasn’t really appropriate.”
“I think the best way for them to rebuild trust with the community could be something as simple as wearing a mask,” he added, per PIX 11.
The NYPD said in a statement that officers should cover their faces for safety and that the department is conducting spot checks, NBC noted.
A transit authority official reminded riders that no one is above the law.
“Everyone in the transit system is required to wear a mask ― it’s the law ― no exceptions,” Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of NYC Transit, told PIX 11. “This is a matter of respect for fellow New Yorkers, including our customers and employees, and for public health and safety.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously admonished officers to follow a state mask mandate after many were seen without face coverings during the Black Lives Matter protests and elsewhere. “It’s the law,” he said.
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