Julia Metraux, Streets Blog NYC, December 16, 2019
I was assaulted on a subway platform.
I was beaten so badly that I was taken to the hospital in a blur, diagnosed with a concussion.
But the last thing I want is for Gov. Cuomo to put 500 more cops in the subway. Here’s why.
I simply don’t believe the cops will improve safety, but, more important, I’m concerned over mounting evidence that more cops just mean more harassment and danger for people of color — used as an excuse to target marginalized people in the name of victims like me and others.
On Nov. 20, I was sitting on a bench at the 14th Street F train station when a man approached and started punching me in the head.
I was transported to Lenox Health Greenwich Village, where I was treated for a concussion. A police officer told me that I should file a police report, so that I could get my medical bills covered by New York State’s Office of Victim Services. I did, but only for that reason.
The MTA worker who witnessed the attack told me that the man who assaulted me is black, homeless and was often seen sleeping in the station. (I did not see my assailant.) The case remains open — making me concerned that the MTA police will use my assault as a reason to target black, homeless men they find in the subways.
It is not a crime to be homeless and seeking shelter in the subways. Nor is it a crime to be black, but violence by police officers is a leading cause of death for young black men, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
I was the victim of a violent crime, and I am in a lot of pain, but I do not want homeless, black men to become victims of profiling because of my attack, either.