'Don't cuff the kid': NYC Parks employee tries detaining 14-year-old girl fruit vendor in chaotic video - Hindustan Times
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'Don't cuff the kid': NYC Parks employee tries detaining 14-year-old girl fruit vendor in chaotic video

ByAditi Srivastava
Jun 03, 2024 11:31 PM IST

Teenage girl selling fruit in Battery Park, NYC, handcuffed. Video sparks outrage as onlookers try to free girl from officers.

A disturbing video circulating online has sparked outrage in New York City. The footage captures a chaotic scene in a public park where a teenage girl selling fruit was handcuffed by a Parks Department employee after she allegedly had an unlicensed cart parked in lower Manhattan with her family running the business together. The video showed a man grabbing the girl's arm as he tried to handcuff her, while locals cried out for her protection, demanding the presence of a female worker to handle the matter.

Teenage girl selling fruit in Battery Park, NYC, handcuffed by Parks Department employee for unlicensed cart; bystanders intervene demanding female worker. Video sparks outrage as onlookers try to free girl from officers.(Marc Rebillet's X)
Teenage girl selling fruit in Battery Park, NYC, handcuffed by Parks Department employee for unlicensed cart; bystanders intervene demanding female worker. Video sparks outrage as onlookers try to free girl from officers.(Marc Rebillet's X)

Teenage girl handcuffed by NYC Parks employee

A now-viral video captured a troubling incident in Battery Park, New York City, on Sunday afternoon. The footage shows uniformed NYC Parks Department officials confronting a 14-year-old girl selling fruit with her family. The situation quickly escalates, with bystanders yelling "Let her go!" and "Get a female [worker]!" Some even attempt to intervene physically, trying to pull the girl away from the officers who appear to be detaining her.

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The video circulating on X was taken by Marc Rebillet who spoke to Storyful about the incident that unfolded. “NYPD first tried to detain the girl, then released her – then Parks got a hold of her and tried to cuff her. That’s when people started crowding around and trying to get the Parks officer off of her,” he said as per Post.

‘DONT CUFF THE KID’

Subsequent reports said that the food cart in question, which was operating illegally and without a license in the park, had been tossed in the dumpster by the park authorities. The Post was informed by the NYPD that they were supporting the park staff who were being attacked by onlookers.

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Commenting on the video, Rebillet wrote, “Okay, fine, talk to the parents. DONT CUFF THE KID. Embarrassing and dangerous behaviour. Shame on Parks, shame on NYPD.”

Bystanders intervene as NYPD detains 14-year-old fruit seller

Rebillet went on to explain that the scenario grew more intense when a bystander tried to pull her from the officer and the park worker. As onlookers tried to step in and free the girl, she and the park worker ended up on the ground, while more people kept calling for her freedom.

“He was thrown to the ground, brought the girl down with him, and in the ensuing struggle she managed to break free and escape. They cuffed the mother and put her in a police car.”

Subsequent reports said that the food cart in question, which was operating illegally and without a license in the park, had been tossed in the dumpster by the park authorities. The Post was informed by the NYPD that they were supporting the park staff who were being attacked by onlookers.

NYPD responds

In their defense, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in a statement to the Post said, “Our Parks Enforcement Patrol’s (PEP) first course of action is to educate in order to bring violators into compliance.”

The officials emphasised their dedication to upholding the law and indicated that additional steps would be taken if such violations persisted. They clearly stated that arrests might be required in certain situations involving criminals and individuals who impede law enforcement. Storyful has verified that the department is investigating the problem at hand.

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