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Mass Incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex — How It Works: Cops Brutalize and Arrest a Man — For Falling Asleep on the Train on the Way Home From Work

"Now, does anyone think for a minute that if a white man (or woman) wearing a suit (or wearing anything) dozed off on the way home from work that they would be subject to this sort of treatment and arrest?"


Screen capture from video.
Screen capture from video.


By Janet Allon

A video has emerged of a brutal confrontation between New York City police officers and a man who apparently fell asleep on a mostly empty train car. The entire incident, which reportedly occurred at the 57th Street station, was recorded by a passerby.




The man asks repeatedly why he is being arrested, but is given no answer that is audible. Although the video does not show what started the confrontation, it seems that the man was sleeping, he says, on his way home from work. He clearly does not understand why this is a crime, and why he should be handcuffed and arested for it. The officers tell him to "relax" as they try to get his hands behind his back. "Ain't no relax," he says. He does not go along with being handcuffed, but does not strike out at the officers either.

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