A bus driver who refused to help New York City police as they commandeered his vehicle to transport arrested protesters in Brooklyn on May 29 was lauded by demonstrators.
The incident occurred during a protest related to the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, and came a day after it was reported that union bus drivers in Minneapolis were refusing to transport police or arrested protesters.
According to Brian Gresko, who shot this footage, the bus had been stuck in traffic along with other vehicles, blocked by the protesters. As police began detaining people, officers took control of the bus in order to transport arrestees away from the scene.
The bus driver, however, refused to comply and called for his supervisor, who was seen patting the driver on the back and stepping into the driver’s seat before the bus pulled away.
The leading bus drivers’ union in New York, Tranport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, tweeted in response to the incident, saying: “TWU Local 100 Bus Operators do not work for the NYPD. We transport the working families of NYC, all TWU Operators should refuse to transport arrested protestors.”
Spokesman for the union Pete Donohue said the union’s position was “not an attack on the NYC police,” arguing that “transit workers aren’t cops or corrections officers and shouldn’t be compelled to move prisoners or arrestees.”
The union’s vice president JP Patafio told VICE their position was “in solidarity with Minneapolis bus drivers.” Credit: Brian Gresko via Storyful