NYC Official Says NYPD Brushed Off Her Report After She Was The Victim Of A Racist Subway Attack

December 5, 2018  |  

New York City Subway Pushing Death Puts Spotlight On Commuter Safety

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A Black woman was recently attacked and harassed on the New York City subway, making a second publicly reported incident within the last month.

Marissa Jackson, the New York City Deputy Human Rights Commissioner, said she was riding the 1 train in Manhattan with her family when a man began shouting the n-word at passengers on November 30 according to Gothamist. Jackson says the man zoned in on her, calling her an “ugly n—-r bitch.” While other passengers declined to intervene, Jackson said she tried to ignore the man’s insults that went on for several minutes. But, before he exited the train at the 50th street stop, he spat on her face and hair as he walked out the doors.

Jackson said the incident left her feeling “deeply violated and shocked” for hours. Passengers did help by providing sanitary napkins and asked if she was “ok,” but the one thing she wished for was an intervention. Jackson told the Gothamist that while she didn’t expect anyone to put their safety at risk, she felt the situation may have been diffused if a voice other than her own had chimed in. Jackson added that passengers could’ve assisted by filming the incident with their phones, or by recording the subway car number where the event took place.

The next day, Jackson said she walked into Manhattan’s 44th precinct to report the incident. But was disappointed by the lack of urgency and care officer’s took when she informed them that she wanted to file a report. According to Jackson one officer “tried to discourage me from filing, saying there was no point.” Another reportedly told her: “If you do the report, we’re not going to look at it. It’s just going to sit here. You understand that, right?” After an hour at the precinct, Jackson said she was told to take the report up with the NYC transit police.

“I just felt super defeated by that,” Jackson told Gothamist. “I felt confused by the process, like there really wasn’t a lot of recourse for folks in my situation who are attacked by a stranger like this.” She later told the Gothamist she felt officers were “empathetic, if misguided.”

Jackson said that she was received more warmly by the transit office and felt more confident that something would be done as of Monday.

At the Human Rights Commissioner office, Jackson was tasked with creating a streamline process to deal with the surge of racial incidents on the subway which racked up over the last two years; the office was created in 2016 as a result. Now, she is a victim of the same system she wished to help reform.

As hate crime incidents uptick across the nation, (a recent report by the FBI shows 7,175  incidents were reported in 2017, an increase of 17 percent from 2016) police departments should focus on disseminating information and resources to victims of racial attacks, while also creating protocol in reporting and investigating said events.

On Monday, Jackson shared the reverberating affects the attack has had on her mentally and physically.

She also revealed that she took a blood screen test for HIV and other diseases due to the fact that she came in contact with the man’s bodily fluids. Because of this, she’s had to refrain from breastfeeding her six-month-old daughter.

“Bias incidents have a profound impact on the people affected by them, and upon the people they love. Resist the urge to minimize them; the trauma is real, and so are the more tangible consequences,” she wrote.

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