A woman accused in a viral video of trying to take a rental bike from a Black man paid for the bike herself, her lawyer says.
The attorney provided Citi Bike receipts to Insider saying that they prove it was her bike to take.
Video of the incident drew millions of views online as some condemned her reaction as “racist.”
The attorney for the white New York City hospital worker who was accused of trying to take a rental bicycle from a Black man in a now-viral video says that the woman paid for the bike herself — and has the receipts to prove it.
A receipt shared with Insider shows payment for a Citi Bike on the app on the evening of May 12 in Manhattan; the bicycle was re-locked to its dock a minute later with no charge logged.
The Citi Bike identification number in the viral video is the same as the one on the receipt and the location matches the view seen in the video.
“It was her bike,” lawyer Justin Marino said in an interview with Insider on Thursday.
Marino said that bike was pushed back into its docking station after a young Black man and his friends told the woman — a pregnant NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue staffer — that the man had already paid for the same bike.
“She had reserved it, and then they pushed the bike back into the docking station, preventing her from taking it out again,” Marino told Insider.
Another receipt provided to Insider shows payment for a second Citi Bike taken from the same docking station one minute after the first bike was re-locked. That receipt also shows a 25-minute trip that Marino says was his client’s ride home after the incident.
“Everyone who’s accused her of a crime of stealing the bike — it’s outrageous, and it doesn’t make any sense,” said Marino.
In the viral video, the scrubs-wearing woman appeared to start crying after repeatedly screaming out loud for “help” and accusing the Black man of putting her fetus in danger.
The video was viewed millions of times as critics on social media accused her of racism. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said the woman “tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat.”
Marino called his client a healthcare “hero” who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic, but said people have made her out to be a “racist villain” because of “a tiny snippet of a video.”
The woman was placed on leave from her job following the incident, which NYC Health + Hospitals — New York City’s public hospital system — called “disturbing.” The hospital said it is investigating what happened.
“I’m hoping the employer will not violate her rights and will do what’s right and bring her back at some point,” Marino said, adding that his client plans to sue “against individuals and media organizations who defamed her.”
Read the original article on Insider
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