Cops Boot Couple Who Wouldn't Wear Masks Off NYC Ferry

Brooklyn husband and wife say they may sue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2020 5:00 AM CDT
Couple Won't Wear Masks on NYC Ferry, Get Booted by Cops
The sun sets behind part of the Manhattan skyline during the fourth round of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A Brooklyn couple refused to wear masks on a New York City ferry Saturday night and ended up kicked off the boat and cited for disorderly conduct. Gothamist has a number of videos of the incident, in which the husband and wife, on their way home after an evening in Manhattan, stood on the top deck of the ferry for more than an hour refusing to follow the captain's orders to disembark. They said they had medical conditions exempting them from the requirement to wear facial coverings, that their constitutional rights were being violated, that they were being "shamed" and "discriminated against" for their inability to wear masks, that they were targeted because they're white, and that police should focus on "homeless drug addicts and looters."

"If we were f------ Black, I can guarantee you that guy would never come out and tell us put a mask on," the woman told a Gothamist reporter. "Right, because Black Lives Matter," her husband chimed in. Police ultimately arrived about 45 minutes into the incident and asked for evidence of their medical exemption; they wouldn't give any. The other passengers started yelling for the couple to be removed so everyone else could get home, and after police determined the captain was within his rights to kick them off, the couple was ultimately removed in handcuffs after refusing a last chance to disembark willingly. The couple, who say they're already suing the MTA after a similar incident on a bus, say they may now also sue the ferry company. (More coronavirus stories.)

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