A 58-year-old man was killed yesterday afternoon after being pushed in front of an oncoming Q train on the N/Q/R line’s 49th Street station, becoming front page news on most dailies throughout the city this morning. But it was only the New York Post that ran a picture of the man struggling to raise himself back onto the platform as a Q train approached the tracks, garnering outrage.
“This is so sad. Tragedy on the NYC Subway. This man is doomed after being pushed onto the track. RIP,” tweeted the Post’s twitter account (@nypost) along with the photograph. But the image, taken by a freelance photographer who happened to be at the scene as it unfolded, immediately caused outrage across social media networks.
“I can’t believe the cover of the @nypost today. Absolutely sickening,” tweeted user Cristina Romano (@fifthand56th). Most tweets directed at @nypost questioned the ethics of printing the photograph, along with suggesting that the photographer should have tried to help.
The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, claimed to be using his camera’s flash to warn the train’s conductor, according to Gawker.com, but that didn’t slow down the messages the Post received as the image spread throughout the midmorning workday.
“Showing the picture is fine but why…would you put that title there? Why would they be like, ‘This man is about to die. DOOMED.’ Why would you say that? That’s just insensitive,” said university senior Nathan Hamer.
The photograph seemed to be controversial because of it’s offensive nature to the family of the man, but also because it struck a nerve with New Yorkers: Similar subway incidents number in the hundreds per year. According to a June 2012 Gawker.com article, 146 people were struck by subway trains in 2011, with 47 killed.