A New York City hospital employee has been suspended after a viral video surfaced showing her attempting to take a rented bike from a group of black youth that garnered millions of views online.
The incident, which was first posted on Twitter on Saturday, appears to show a white woman in a NYC Health + Hospitals scrubs arguing with a young man about a Citi Bike she says she has already rented. The man has his hand on the bike while the woman shouts «please help me».
It’s unclear what happened before the minute-and-a-half video began, but the young man does not appear to touch the woman in the posted clip or appear to verbally threaten her.
At one point, the woman removes her work ID badge and tries to push the man on the bike with her body.
«This is my bike, it’s on me,» said the man holding the bike.
She also appears to be crying, though another person in the video accuses her of faking it.
«You’re acting,» said the man recording the video. «She pretends to cry. She stops pretending to cry.»
At one point in the video, a bystander can be seen trying to intervene to help resolve the dispute. About a minute into the video, the woman walks away from the bike and the recording stops.
Bellevue did not identify the woman in the video, but the hospital apologized in a statement the day after the video was released and said it was reviewing the incident. In a follow-up on Tuesday, the hospital called the video «disturbing.»
«The provider is currently on leave and will remain on leave pending a review,» the hospital’s statement Tuesday said. «As a healthcare system, we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind.»
The video has been viewed on Twitter more than 40 million times as of Wednesday afternoon, with many social media users pointing out the risk young black men face of being accused of wrongdoing in situations against white women.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump was one of many who posted the video and commented on Twitter.
“She rudely tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat,” Crump wrote. «This is EXACTLY the kind of behavior that has endangered so many black men in the past!»
NBC New York he tried to reach the woman at her apartment, but no one answered at the woman’s Brooklyn home or returned calls for comment.
The man who posted the video online did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Janhvi Bhojwani contributed.