A video, released by journalist Anna Sterling, has gone viral over Labor Day weekend, garnering more than 1.72 million views and 18,000 retweets. The video shows two older men attacking a younger man in a San Francisco subway train and trying to push him out of the moving car for playing his music too loudly, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
While Sterling did not take the video herself, it was given to her by a witness so that it could be released for ultimate impact. She released it in two tweets.
“Whoa these two men just tried to throw this kid off the muni train because he was playing music too loudly. He easily could’ve hit oncoming traffic. This is not okay.” Sterling tweeted, along with a video which shows one of the men holding the young man in a choke hold, nearly lying on top of him along the subway seats.
The second attacker keeps a vigilant watch, looking for an opportunity to aid the other attacker and keep bystanders from interfering. Many bystanders come forward, trying to interrupt and stop the men from physically assaulting the young man.
Sterling later tweeted that the witness who shot the video said, “… that it was mostly women who were bystanders and that one woman did try to intervene but couldn’t do much.”
Throughout the video, the attacker maintains that he is fine and would be willing “to stop” if his victim also stopped. The hand of the younger man can be seen flailing as he tries to breathe.
Sterling’s second tweet contained a second video that showed the escalation of the attack. By this point, the two men had dragged the young man over to the doors of the subway car, forced it open, and tried to push him out of it. He holds onto a railing and calls for help as the two men kick, shove, knee, and push him, trying to force him out of the car.
They’re attempting to throw him onto the street. You can see it clearly here. He’s just a kid. This is not okay. pic.twitter.com/BGT3kado26
— Anna Sterling (@AnnaMSterling) August 31, 2018
People were outraged and took to the internet to vent their frustration over the exchange. Many called out the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, who runs the subway the attack happened on, accusing them of negligence in their failure to stop the attack. The driver of the train would have received alerts that the car doors were being forced open and so should have gone into emergency procedure at that point.
However, the agency did tweet, “The operator reported the incident last night and we’ve been working with
@SFPD to fully investigate the matter. We’ve shared surveillance video from the train with PD as part of that investigation.”