Footage of argument ahead of subway death
Authorities are looking for a suspect, who witnesses say pushed a man off a Manhattan subway platform, the man consequently died after getting trapped between the train and the platform edge.PT0M0S 620 349
A New York Post front page photo of a man about to be hit by an oncoming subway train has provoked fury from readers wondering why nobody, including the photographer, pulled the victim to safety - and why the tabloid published the image.
Police say the victim, named as 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han, was thrown onto the tracks during a fight on Monday with a man in a Manhattan subway station. He then staggered to his feet and tried, but failed to get out the way of a train, which killed him - in full view of a crowd of passengers.
Wow! enough time to take a few pictures. Why didn't the person help?
One of those bystanders was a freelance photographer from the Post who managed to take a series of photos, including the one occupying the whole front page on Tuesday under the headline: "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die."
Outrage ... a censored version of The New York Post photo, which has caused fury. Photo: New York Post screen grab/R. Umar Abbasi
In a video report on the story, the Post appeared to suggest that the photo and two others in a double spread inside the newspaper, were unintentional by-product of the photographer's rescue attempt.
"Not being strong enough to physically lift the victim himself the photographer used the only resources available to him and began rapidly flashing his camera to signal the train conductor to stop," the report said.
But readers quickly slammed the Post's photographer and editors for what they saw as a callous attitude to the bloody tragedy.
"Wow! enough time to take a few pictures. Why didn't the person help? How many pictures did they take? 3-4 pictures. And nobody tried to help. Not one person," wrote Joseph Monte on the Post's website.
Nicole Stagg, another reader, wrote: "There aren't many real men in NYC. Everyone is a sheep. This was Baaaaaaaad."
The Atlantic Wire website joined the outcry.
"There's one big question about today's intense cover of the New York Post. Why didn't anyone help him? If there's enough time to capture a dying man's last moments before getting hit by an oncoming train that's that worthy of a tabloid cover, couldn't the photographer have lent a hand," the Atlantic said.
In the Post, the freelance photographer, R Umar Abbasi, said that he used his camera principally to warn the approaching train driver. "I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash," he said.
But that didn't convince critics on Twitter.
"Claims he was using camera's flash to catch conductor's attention," tweeted Ellen Comisar. "But result seems a tad too well composed."
"Whoever took the picture that's on the cover of the NY Post should be arrested for not helping the dude that got killed," wrote "vodka n lime."
The police released a brief video from a surveillance camera in which the attacker is seen and heard cursing at the victim and telling him to stand in line ‘‘and wait for the R train.’’
Police say they are still looking for the man who allegedly pushed the victim to his death.
Several bystanders were treated at the scene, apparently for shock or trauma, fire officials said.
New York police spokesman Paul J. Browne said that moments before the episode, witnesses saw a man who was ‘‘talking to himself.’’
‘‘He gets into an argument and is pushing and shoving,’’ Mr Browne said, ‘‘and at least one witness felt that the aggressor was emotionally disturbed.
’’The man approached the victim, and ‘‘the two exchanged words,’’ Mr Browne said.
The man pushed the victim onto the tracks.
‘‘As he attempted to climb out of the well, he was struck by the train and got wedged between the platform and the train car,’’ Mr Browne said.
The incident had echoes of the kind of urban nightmare that has terrified the city before, perhaps most notoriously in 1999, when a young writer and photographer, Kendra Webdale, was pushed to her death in front of an N train at the 23rd Street station.
The police arrested a schizophrenic man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2006 during his third trial.
The public attack over the attack on Webdale prompted lawmakers in Albany to enact a state statute known as Kendra’s Law, which gave judges more power to compel mentally ill people to comply with court-ordered psychiatric treatment.
AFP/New York Times