Police Drag Passenger Off Bus for Not Wearing Coronavirus Mask in Philadelphia


Bus passengers in Philadelphia and surrounding areas were ordered effective Thursday to wear masks in order to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus. The order was issued by the city transit authority SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) with a statement riders could be refused passage by operators and that transit police would enforce the mandate.

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Videos posted online Friday by the Philly Transit Riders Union Twitter account show police ordering passengers not wearing masks off a bus and forcefully removing one non-compliant passenger. The videos are a harbinger of things to come in America’s coronavirus police state. While such measures may be necessary in virus hot spots, it was just a few weeks ago Americans were advised by the federal government to not wear masks. The balance between the common good and civil liberties will be sorely tested in the days and years ahead.

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Excerpt from report by CBS3 KYW-TV on the mask mandate:

SEPTA is making major changes across all transportation services after a third employee died from the coronavirus. Beginning Thursday, SEPTA will operate on a “life service schedule.”

The changes include closing 10 Market-Frankford Line stations and eight Broad Street Line and Broad-Ridge Spur stations while also limiting bus and trolley service.

Officials say SEPTA police will engage with customers to ensure they’re traveling for essential purposes.

“Everyone else, we’re asking you to stay home. Because in order for us to provide room for customers, operators and workers to travel safely, we only want those that need us to be on our system now,” SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards said…

…Richards points out all front-line employees, like drivers and cashiers, now have access to masks and other personal protection equipment.

Also, starting Thursday, anyone riding the system must also wear some form of a face covering.

“We are going to enforce. Not only can an operator of a vehicle refuse a rider who doesn’t have a mask on, we will also have members of our transit police making sure,” Richards said…





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