Thursday, February 05, 2015

Warning: NYPD Ticketing Commuters $100 At Bergen Street F/G Train Station For Jumping Over Broken Turnstile During Rush Hour

PMFA just received an email from local resident Y. H. who would like to warn others that the NYPD was 'ambushing' riders heading into Manhattan at the F/G subway station at Bergen Street in Boerum Hill during this morning's rush hour at 8:45AM and fining them $100 for jumping a broken turnstile.
Y.H.  writes:
I understand that jumping a turnstile is illegal-- but it's the fact that instead of 
1. fixing the turnstile when it was reported 
2. getting one officer to direct traffic,
 they got FIVE cops to hide out and ticket over a dozen commuters at MORNING RUSH HOUR. It's bull shit.

Y. H. sent along some photos she took of the scene in the subway station this morning. Below is a more detailed description accompanying the pictures she posted on Instagram:

Instead of fixing #MTA turnstiles (which was reported yesterday as not working) or just getting one police officer to direct traffic (and herd us like a #:), NYC pawned 5 of their finest to ticket #commuters $100 during morning rush hour. 12+ commuters were ticketed in less than 5 minutes!!!! I get it-- you're not supposed to jump the turnstile. What I'm #upset about is that NYPD was specifically there to ticket because they knew the turnstile was not working properly (there are NEVER five cops in that station); they were not sent to "protect citizens" (they didn't ticket one person out in the open to make their point, they basically preyed on the residents by the dozen. Thankfully no one was put in a #chokehold or #shot (yeah I went there), but you never know with cops. #: #thanksNYPD #ambush

That certainly sounds like an ambush to us here at PMFA. All these commuters clearly wanted to do was to get to their office on time. Not cool, NYPD! 



28 comments:

Hooplehead said...

I don't know if they are still doing it but the police at one point would lie in wait at Carroll Street for students wrongfully using their student metro cards during school breaks even if they were participating in a school related activity. Other students (or really their parents) have been fined for jumping the turnstile when their student cards malfunctioned. Had there been an agent there these students would have been let through the gate.

When my youngest was in Pre-K he had a student metro card. I swiped my regular card first accidentally and he went through and so when i swiped the student card I went through and was ambushed and screamed at by a cop and threatened with jail. This was at Carroll Street.

As for today's incident the police probsbly view it as an easy revenue generator to make up for lost time from the slow down. Plus they seem to target stations where people probably have plenty of disposable income so will just pay the fine.

Anonymous said...

I was part of this charade this morning while on my way to work. While hundreds of commuters were trying to get to their jobs, the police (who were NOT 76th Pct OR Transit police) were entrapping innocent citizens who swiped their metrocards THAN used the gate. The CO on the scene Officer Griffin, instead of helping, antagonized innocent law abiding citizens and threatened them. He even tried to for as long as possible cover his name tag because he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Instead of working with the MTA & Transit Police to fix the problem, these officers made it worse. I was surprised it did not get out of hand or violent, but that is a testament to the good citizens and their newfound coping skills dealing with ineffective officers. If this happened in a different neighborhood, I guarantee this would have had a much different(worse/violent)outcome.

It was a shocking display of terrible problem solving skills and abuse of power....shameful. I only hope that Officer Griffin and his colleagues will be investigated for this. Essentially, not allowing the public to access the transit system and setting up a process of entrapment for those that needed to go to work.

Overall, it showed poor judgment by the police and they should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

This sounds pretty shameful on the part of the cops. If they really had an interest in the problem, they should have had one cop there to redirect commuters, not ambush them. Is the NYPD there to generate revenue, or to protect the public. They can't do both.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning, I generally don't break the law though so I should be fine.

smdc said...

I was there and it was shameful. There was lines of commuters extending up the stairs, but the officer yelling at me insisted we were lying about the inoperable fare gates. I've never skipped paying a fare.... except I could not. I had to get to work, and the officers' solution was to further delay commuters needless swiping cards for minutes before the turnstile would temporarily work. Another display of abuse of power and an inability to problem solve, work with the community, and work FOR the public. The attitude that they are out against us is disgusting and further damages the nypd relationship with th e public they pretend to serve. No one was made safer here; rather, the nypd protected the state/mta's coffers and penalized the taxpayer for mta's failure to maintain ther fare gates. SHAMEFUL.

Anonymous said...

When I was there this morning only one gate was working - luckily the one I was in line for or I would have ducked over through the open door as well. I thought it was exceedingly shady of the cops to stand just out of sight on the platform to nab every single person who I had seen swiping their card MULTIPLE times only to give up and get onto the platform in the only possible way. I saw lots of people taking pictures of the cops writing up tickets, though, so maybe it'll be reported to someone who will care (doubtful).

Anonymous said...

I was there too, and there was one working gate and plenty of people were on line to use it. The people who jumped the turnstile just decided that they didn't need to wait behind the rest of us. How are they any different from people who drive on the shoulder in traffic jams or hold the door on the subway. I love the commentor who says "they seem to target stations where people probably have plenty of disposable income ". Ha!

bored at work said...

@ smdc

"I've never skipped paying a fare.... except I could not. I had to get to work,

So, you jumped the turnstile, got caught and now have to pay the fine. Boo hoo.

Anonymous said...

Is this how the Broken Window Theory applies? Trap them? Don't fix the turnstiles, then slap riders with a fine --especially when they try to pay the fare, but turnstiles won't register.
These two turnstiles have been a problem for over a year. They're fickle. Most times they work, but suddenly they stop working during rush hour. Riders with full intention of paying, can't get through. There's a problem with MTA daily now.

Anonymous said...

If there were an attendant at that end of the station, this never would have happened. Several years ago the turnstiles at the Smith Street end of the Carroll Street station all went on the fritz at the same time during the morning rush hour. There happened to still be a "platform" attendant there, and he held the emergency gate open to let all riders go through without paying. On a second malfunction with the same turnstiles on a different day but with no attendant, there was a police officer posted at the gate letting people through. I'm not NYPD basher, but this morning's tactic was underhanded to say the least. If anyone knows what precinct these officers were from, or even if you don't, you should get your assembly person involved. Don't let it go because it will happen again.

SMDC said...

No-- I said I could not PAY THE FARE-- I tried back and forth (between the two gates) for over 5 minutes, and was told "swipe again" or "swipte again at this turnstile". 90% of the time, I pay at the 2nd Place Carroll Stop, with a 24 hour guard. I doubt I would choose that option in life if I were tying to save $2.

SMDC said...

*I also did not have to pay any fine.

sarah rhodes said...

As one of the individuals ticketed, I can assure you that I DID stand in line like everyone else and also tried swiping my card numerous times to no avail. I am a law abiding citizens who respects the rules in place, but I think the onus is on the city to maintain the turnstiles, especially since the MTA was notified yesterday of the issue. I do not think that I'm better than anyone else. And as a side note, I paid $112 for a monthly metro card, so my ride was paid for.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone call over an officer to help or witness the problem while people were continually swiping?

Anonymous said...

And the police wonder why the public despise them. They should be helping the community not lying in wait like predators.

The same thing happened to me last year. I am in if anyone wants to start a class action against MTA for machine that deactivates your card during rush hour so those lowlifes can wait to grab you when they see you frantically going from turnstile to turnstile swiping your once used month $100+ card.

Someone should video tape at least. I went to MTA court 2 times--they told me they did not have the metrocard record and adjourned my case and then found against me after I explained what happened.

They are allowing people to swipe their card in a machine that they KNOW is deactivating the cards and causing huge inconvenience and then giving them a ticket. Talk about fraud!!

Anonymous said...

There was certainly an issue with the fact that the police were not helping people and making matters worse. They were socially profiling which is just as bad a racial profiling. The cops knew their targets would not put up a fight based on the demographics and low crime rate of the neighborhood.

Officer Griffin was the one on the scene leading the charge giving the orders to issue the summons. Whatever precinct he is from should be investigated.

Based on the entrapment method they were using to bait people into their net, I'd say they were not from the local precinct. Griffin was giving the orders, the other officers were just listening to their commanding officer.

If anyone has concerns you can call the local precinct community affairs line during business hours at 718 834 3207. Be nice to them and they will help you. And understand this was not their doing or their guys. They can however, point you in the right direction or give anyone advice that felt they were unlawfully targeted today.

Katia said...

Thanks for this info, Anon.

Anonymous said...

@Katia: Did you call the NYPD for comment on this? If so, what did they say? If not, why not?

Hooplehead said...

The Bergen Street station is NOT in the 76th precinct. It is in the 84th. The community affairs number for the precinct is 718-875-6850.

C.G. family since before ST. Agnes was built. said...

I have a silly question - for those whose metro card didn't work - why jump the stile or use the exit gate?
Yes, a cop should have been at the top of the stairs telling people to go to the other entrance.
But just because there wasn't, why break the law?

Anonymous said...

Well, the city is certainly a much safer place as a result of this incident. The NYPD did a bang up job nabbing these miscreants and dangerous criminals.

Apparently these turnstiles have been problematic for some time and with technology being what it is, the MTA could have set up some sort mobile scan/swipe device and had an employee on site monitoring it's use, servicing customers and facilitating a safe, smooth, problem free commute.

The Onus is on the MTA - the police just piled on. Good stuff.

Katia said...

So, my husband and I came back from Manhattan at about 11:30pm last night. I looked out the window at Bergen Street and saw riders trying to swipe their card at the Warren Street turnstiles. A line had formed behind them. So of 11:30 pm yesterday, there was still a problem there. Saw no cops, though.

Anonymous said...

My question is: How did the police know to position themselves at Warren Street to entrap frustrated commuters?? The turnstile malfunction was reported the previous day -- how did they know about it? Sounds fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in NY, but I imagine they broke the law to get to work on time. A lot of employers could care less if the turnstiles were broken. Your in time is 9am. Period.

Anonymous said...

8:31am: If you don't live in NYC, you have no clue what it's like to commute to work on the subway day in and day out with 6 million other people. Not condoning turnstile jumping, but commuting here is no picnic, and the police should not have been lying in wait. The decent and correct thing to do would have been to assist commuters by directing them to the Bergen Street entrance and not treating honest adults like mischievous school kids. Would that have been so difficult? Would they have expended any extra energy by telling people to use the other end of the station? I don't think so. I've been commuting by subway daily for 40+ years -- never jumped but have been personally admitted through the gate by a clerk or police officer positioned by a malfunctioning turnstile. It's as clear as day that the captain in charge was making up for his precinct's lost revenues during the "slowdown" last month. So who's the dishonest one?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you someone should file a law suit against the MTA for the way they utilize the NYPD (tax payer's money) to bully transit riders. I received a ticket today for going thru the gate after the agent told me to. She verified it with the two officers and one overly agressive mad dog officer still have me a ticket. He lied on the ticket and said I did not have permission. I really hope someone who has legal background considers a class action suit. This is the second time this has happened to me where a cop abuses his power over a situation that ultimately is the responsibility of MTA. Things will get worse if an example is not set that we as tax payers need to be respected of our rights. This America!!!

Katia said...

At what station did you get the ticket?

Willow Street Watch said...

Bergen Street used to be a dangerous station in past years. Its easy to forget that prior to gentrification you really had to watch your back even in midday. Under covers and uniformed units from the 84 stopped the crime. As far as the turnstiles, well did even one of the self absorbed types make even one phone call or fax or text to the council man office or call both the area Cobble Hill News 718 422 7424 or CNG publ. 718 260 4505...YOU need to make the personal effort now simply complain....