Photo of the Day: MTA Bus Driver Takes a Knee as Protest Streams Past

A bus driver stopped for a moment of solidarity, taking a knee during a protest march that had wound up Central Park West on Thursday. The protest had made a turn and was headed west on 96th Street.

Bus drivers have been offering support for protesters at times during the demonstrations over the past few weeks. Thanks to Lisa for the photo and video.

Here’s a video of that protest earlier:

NEWS | 26 comments | permalink
    1. Chris says:

      Just wondering if other folks on the upper west side feel De-funding the police is a great idea. Even our city council is behind the move. If anyone remembers the lawlessness of the 1970’s we will be right back to that point and have 5-10 % of population leave the city as in the past. Not able leave because I am a few years from retirement. I am very concerned for my family’s safety if this comes to fruition.

      • Jamie says:

        I’m fully on board with defunding the police. Their budget is bloated, they’re increasingly militarized, they’re out of control, and there are far better things we can spend our money on than a police department that acts as if they’re an occupying force sent to beat down citizens, whom they seem to view as the enemy unless they’re white and wealthy.

        The budget needs to be cut and the entire force needs to be reduced and those that remain need to be retrained to de-escalate, instead of making things worse, the DA needs to be voted out and replaced with someone who will actually prosecute murderous cops.

      • lou says:

        I wouldnt worry about this too much,they are going to replace the cops with social workers

      • Ryan says:

        The defunding argument is misguided if you ask me. It doesn’t address the root of the problem which is lack of police accountability. So we cut their budget in half and now have half as many police that still abuse their power. We need to enact change that holds police accountable for their actions:
        -Repealing 50-A which shields their disciplinary records
        -Docking pay for officers that hide their badge numbers or turnoff their body cams
        -Paying victim settlements from NYPD salary funds, not additional taxpayer dollars

      • Dom says:

        Defunding the police is an asinine idea. Do people think that NYC just cleaned itself up and magically morphed into a more peaceful, livable state because of Yoko Ono and John Lennon? What the force needs is better training, better management and a mayor who isn’t dead set on sending us back to the 70s and 80s.

      • West Ender says:

        I’m fine with it. The majority of the time when I see NYPD they are just standing around looking at their phones. They are over paid, get a sweet pension when they retire early, and are not held accountable for their bad behavior.

      • Janis says:

        Chris, you are definitely not alone in worrying about your safety and that of your family.
        These fools are dying to bring back the bad old days when just addressing the problems within the department would make so much more sense.
        I do hope they will rethink this before it’s too late.

    2. Evan Bando says:

      One of the biggest impediments to police reform is the union and their collective bargaining tactics. It is the brick and mortar of the Blue Wall that protects criminal cops. It is what makes all police officers complicit in the actions and the protection of criminal cops. Look at PBA President Patrick Lynch. He seems to believe his job as advocate for rank and file police officers includes blanket protection for all no matter the circumstances. (Refer to the Eric Garner death as an example. Lynch fought to eliminate even the smallest charge against Daniel Pantaleo: “He’s done nothing wrong!”) That attitude is built into whatever new police contracts are ultimately signed. It is the same in police departments around the country, big and small. It is what every mayor has to contend with. It makes prosecution and reform very difficult. The unions and their collective bargaining tactics must be a part of any police reform. If it takes federal action, then, so be it.

      • Cynthia says:

        Totally agree. If the police unions don’t hold its members accountable also, then it is just the Eric Garner case on repeat. When the police respond excessively and criminally to minor offenses, it destroys the meaning of the penal code, and everyone loses faith in them as a benevolent protector. The, gratefully thus far, one time in the past couple of years that I thought about calling the police I decided not to because I was worried they would send an officer who would turn a situation of drunk and disorderly in to a capital crime. Would be a relief not to have to think that way, but we do and should.

    3. Bob Lamm says:

      Perhaps I’ll be the first to say this: BRAVO to that MTA bus driver for taking a knee to support the protesters. We need more New Yorkers like him. In solidarity. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

      • Rayna L says:

        Agree! His job is difficult as well during the virus and now protests. He is a hero

      • Bnyc says:

        Yes!!! Great to see the respect this bus driver showed.

      • Disappointed@UWS says:

        Thank you for being the FIRST to address the actual subject of the article and acknowledge the beauty of this photo and the moment,. The responses here are just one example of The callousness of our society that has allowed this disparity and systemic mistreatment to flourish among us.. The underlying issues are glossed over and ignored. How about we talk about what this means, how about we talk abut the fundamental rights of all people to not have their lives unjustifiably taken Due to abuse of power, How about we talk about this picture As a symbol of unity and Let’s not usurp the positive message.. How about we save the rhetoric for all the other articles for which the UWS Rag readers will have their many, many moments to cry “woes me” for the harshness of what has descended on their precious neighborhood.

        • Chris says:

          I would not take a knee for anyone or anything it is a sign of submission and weakness. What am I supposed to be in solidarity with and whom? I grew up poor worked hard and made my way. You just do not get respect it has to be earned.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            I will never take a knee to anyone for any cause / reason, ever. It is a sign of subservience and weakness if not total capitulation to another, be it a cult, a mob, a king. Completely antithetical to why and how the United States of America was created.”GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH” — Patrick Henry. The taking of knees by policemen and National Guardsmen is the most tragic thing I’ve ever witnessed in this country (from an ideological standpoint), as while I can empathize that they did it to appease and calm those who are passionately upset, it was the wrong thing to do. You can be compassionate and respectful while standing upright.

            • Please_Leave says:

              A man was killed because a racist cop knelt on that mans neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
              EIGHT MINUTES AND 46 SECONDS. Be in silence for EIGHT MINUTES AND 46 SECONDS. That is why we kneel. you are simple and that is sad.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              @ Please_Leave : you are a perfect example of the mob I was referring to. I will not acquiesce to your truly fascistic demands of how I should comply. Not even if you held a gun to my head. The days of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot will not resurface here, and if heaven forbid they do, I will fight it until my last breath.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          “UWS Rag readers will have their many, many moments to cry “woes me” for the harshness of what has descended on their precious neighborhood.” — You’re right. Airing worries such as potential vandalism, looting, and general lawlessness in the neighborhood in which we live in is the epitome of “woes (sic) me” selfishness. I am ashamed of thinking this way, thank you for correcting this in me.

    4. MB/UWSer says:

      The topic of defunding the police is a most serious one for the safety of every person alive. It should be approached with reverence and not slung around like a ball of power and disregard as so much is happening now.

      This might be the time to practice the Precautionary Principle for such important decision making. It is used in Canada and European countries when making environmental decisions.

      The idea of defunding the police is a far and distinct separate topic from regulating drugs and other issues related to the environment; police and safety are pertinent to the environment of humanity society – an environment. Most worthy of consideration.

      Smashing the establishment is cruelty TO and for everyone. That’s the society we live in???

      But maybe we are too late.

    5. Maxine Krasnow says:

      I am in favour of defunding the police. But I think there must a national conversation about how incorrect police culture in this country is – I do not care if you are white non white male or female, being a police person means you join a culture that is macho, patriarchal and enjoys power over other people. I am a white women now living in Arizona, and if a cop pulls me over for a broken tail light they treat us, like we are criminals. Instead of feeling protected by the police, I usually feel threatened by them. What we accept as normal in this country is insane.

    6. EagleEye says:

      New York has twice the number of police per capita as many other major cities.

      NY has 41 officers/10,000 people. Houston has 23, Las Vegas has 21, LA has 25.

      • Hawk Eye says:

        Hmmm…just checked that website you mentioned.
        SEEMS THERE’s a LITTLE ERROR in the “FACTs” you cite to “prove” that “New York has twice the number of police per capita as many other major cities”
        According to the site:
        NYC DOES have 42.3 officers per 10K people, BUT:
        1. That’s about the same as Chicago (43.9);
        2. as Baltimore (40.6);
        3. and as Philadelphia (40.2);
        4. BUT then there’s Atlantic City (70.9);
        5. AND Myrtle Beach with 68.7.
        Oh, and also the data IS “as of 2016”

        According to Wikipedia: “an omission is a failure to do something one can and ought to do”.
        like including ALL the facts?
        just asking

    7. QL says:

      What would you do if you dialed 911 and nobody came?????

    8. Rob G. says:

      So first di Blasio de-balls the NYPD, and now our leaders want to finish the job by defunding it? Shame on any of you who support this stupid and dangerous idea. You have either forgotten what the ‘70s and ‘80s were like here, or you are clamoring to return to it.