A viral video appears to show a white woman trying to take a bike from a young Black man, sparking outrage over racism and 'weaponized' tears
A video viewed millions of times shows a white woman apparently trying to take a rental bike from a Black man.
The clip shows the woman screaming out loudly for "help" in New York City and appearing to cry.
The clip sparked outrage, with people accusing the woman, an NYC hospital worker, of weaponizing her tears.
A now-viral video shows a white New York City hospital worker making a dramatic scene as she appears to try to take a rental bicycle from a young Black man who said that he already paid for the two-wheeler.
The unidentified woman who wore NYC Health + Hospital scrubs and appeared to start crying after repeatedly screaming out loud for "help" has been accused of weaponizing her tears in the incident some have condemned as "racist."
The one-minute and 30-second video shared on Twitter by user @Imposter_Edits begins with the woman yelling out, "Help me! Help me! Please, help me!" as she grips the handlebars of a Citi Bike that is also being held by a young Black man.
—🥀 Imposter_🥀 (@Imposter_Edits) May 14, 2023
"This is not your bike," the man and his pals tell the woman as they stand by the Citi Bike docking station in Manhattan, according to the video of the incident.
"Please help me, help! Please get off me," the woman again loudly screams.
Moments later, the apparently pregnant woman tells the man, "Get off me. Get off me. You are hurting my fetus," as they both continue to hold on to the Citi Bike.
The man doesn't appear to touch her, despite her shouts.
Just as a man wearing hospital scrubs intervenes in the situation, the woman abruptly appears to start crying and the Black man's friends accuse her of faking her tears, the footage shows.
"This is my bike. It's on my account. Please move," the Black man told the woman. The man's friend who was recording the video also told the woman to "stop fake crying."
The scrubs-wearing man who intervened then suggested that the woman instead take the available Citi Bike next to her and the woman agreed and moved away from the other bicycle.
"How you stop crying? Not a tear came down miss," the man recording the clip can be heard saying as the woman's demeanor shifts.
The video surfaced over the weekend on social media and got tens of millions of views, sparking outrage on social media.
"Racism at its finest," one Twitter user wrote. "She fully understands that white women generally have the privilege of being perceived as "innocent" which is why she attempted to use her tears as a weapon against this young black man."
Another user said: "This right here is one of the many dangerous situations our children face on a daily bases. I'm glad this didn't go any further wrong than what it already did."
And on TikTok, users dissected the video to try to learn the woman's identity.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump shared the clip on Instagram, calling it "unacceptable."
"A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC," Crump said, adding, "She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!"
But the woman's lawyer said Thursday that she had paid for the bike herself, showing Citi Bike receipts from the location. The lawyer said the woman has since been threatened had had her life "effectively destroyed" by false allegations.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue initially addressed the situation in a statement on Twitter on Sunday saying: "We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred off-campus over the weekend and appears to involve one of our employees."
"We are sorry this happened and we are reviewing the incident," the hospital said while explaining that it is "committed to providing the highest quality of care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion."
A spokesperson for the New York City public hospital system later confirmed in a statement to Insider that the woman in the video works for NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and is currently "out on leave."
"We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing," the NYC Health + Hospitals spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added, "The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending a review. As a health system we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind."
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