Renewed push for cameras on all subway platforms 3 years after unsolved demise


Sedrick Simon was fatally struck by a Brooklyn subway in 2019 — however practically three years later, the circumstances surrounding his demise stay a thriller.

That’s as a result of the station the place the 36-year-old was killed round 7 a.m. had no cameras to seize what had occurred — and no witnesses have ever come ahead.

“My brother died at the Newkirk Avenue station, he was hit by a train — to this day that’s all we know,” Jennifer Muhammad, his older sister, just lately informed The Publish.

“I can get robbed in front of McDonald’s and there’s a camera. I don’t know if it was a homicide. I don’t know if he was pushed on tracks. I know nothing.”

Simon’s Dec. 26, 2019 demise prompted Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn to introduce a invoice referred to as “Sedrick’s Law” — which might power the MTA to put in cameras on all subway platforms. 

There wasn’t sufficient political will on the time to show it right into a regulation. However now, Bichotte is reviving the trouble in wake of the April 12 mass capturing on a crowded Brooklyn N practice — and after accused gunman Frank James spent practically 30 hours on the lam because of malfunctioning MTA surveillance cameras.

Sedrick Simon
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn launched “Sedrick’s Law” that may mandate cameras on all subway platforms.

“In 2019, dollars stood in the way of our safety,” stated the Brooklyn Democrat, who represents Midwood, the place Simon lived. “If we had cameras, we would have had a clearer picture of Sedrick’s death, and probably a little more closure.”

Bichotte believes the invoice — at the moment in committee and being expedited to hopefully be handed earlier than the legislative session ends in June — may also preserve New Yorkers safer at a time when crime is rising on the subways.

“People know that surveillance is also a deterrent from crime,” she stated. “If you know they are surveillance cameras, you’re more likely not to actually commit the crime.”

A gaggle of Congress members, together with three from New York Metropolis, pressed the MTA for solutions in a blistering April 20 letter about why the cameras had been malfunctioning throughout the ugly horrific subway attack in Sunset Park 

— particularly when the company has thousands and thousands in federal {dollars} for safety.

Jennifer Muhammad and her brother Sedrick Simon
Sedrick Simon’s sister Jennifer Muhammad informed The Publish that she nonetheless doesn’t know if her brother’s demise was a murder.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will also audit the MTA’s subway security digicam system within the wake of the catastrophe, The Publish discovered, as will Performing MTA Inspector Normal Elizabeth Keating, the agency’s top watchdog.

MTA spokesperson Tim Minton stated the company is “proud of a subway camera system the NYPD calls the ‘most reliable’ and ‘highest quality’ of any providing pictures in the City.”

Final month, he famous that there are practically 10,000 cameras monitoring the subway system and that as much as 1% is probably not working at any given time, together with for scheduled upkeep.

Bichotte painted a extra difficult image of the present surveillance state of affairs underground. 

“We may have some cameras that are there, but they’re not fully operational, or … you can’t see the full platform. We want to make sure that it’s mandated. We want MTA to ensure that their priority is the safety of the passengers,” she stated.

Muhammad — who described her brother “Seddy” as a “teddy bear … who would give the shirt off his back to anyone” — stated the MTA “didn’t even have the decency to call” her household after his disturbing demise.

“We couldn’t even look at his body because he was mangled by a train, but yet to this day I’m unable to tell my mother and father how her son passed,” she stated.

She stated she hopes the invoice named after her late sibling will present households some closure — ought to one other tragedy on the rails strike once more.

“This bill will create a level of accountability for sure, and moving forward I hope it will save lives,” she stated. “I don’t want another death like my brother’s.”

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