It’s common courtesy to remove your feet, bag, or coat from an empty seat when public transportation becomes crowded and another passenger needs a place to sit. However, this is something one teen decided to learn the hard way. The LAPD taught her a painful lesson, but some have since put the officer on blast. Did he go too far?
Bethany Nava was riding the Metro Red Line train when a police officer, enforcing the passenger code of conduct that prohibits feet on seats, asked her to get off, according to the LA Times. Almost immediately, someone began to record the interaction between Nava and the LAPD sergeant. At the beginning of the clip, you hear the officer asking the 18-year-old to leave the train and motioning her to stand up.
“I already told you what to do and you didn’t. You disobeyed me. You’re getting off the train,” the officer told the teen, who apparently refused to remove her feet from the seat in order for other passengers, some of which were elderly, to be able to sit down. Sadly, the entitled girl again refused to comply with the officer’s demands. That’s when things took a turn.
The Los Angeles police officer grabbed Nava’s arm and began to pull the girl from the train. “Stop, let me go,” she insisted. “I paid to be on this train,” she protested further. “You’re pulling me off the train, I can’t get my stuff,” she added as she continued to resist the LAPD officer, who forcibly dragged her off the public transportation by her arm.
After Nava was removed from the city’s subway, the officer pinned her against the platform wall, Daily Mail reported. “This is not f*****g fair that you took me off the train because I had my foot there because I was comfortable like that,” she whined after calling the officer an “asshole.”
As others gather around, she began to cry. Bystanders, claiming “it’s not a big deal,” begged the officer not to do this as Nava continued to resist, and the cop was forced to call for backup. “Everything is on camera,” someone warned the officer as Nava began to whimper. “Are you f*****g kidding me right now?” another woman swore at the officer.
“There is no law that tells me that I cannot sit that way because I paid to be in there,” Nava insisted, but the officer was quick to correct her as he replied, “It’s the rules of the train.” Not to mention, it’s common decency since the train was crowded with people seen standing, unable to find an empty seat.
With an audience on her side, the once whimpering 18-year-old began cursing at the officer again. The other woman, later identified as 22-year-old Selina Lechuga, is quick to join in. “You think you can do this?” Lechuga demanded after encouraging others to get the officer’s badge number. “F*****g a**hole!” she called the officer, continuing to hurl expletives at him.
The group which gathered continued to heckle the cop. “Are you f*****g kidding me? You really have nothing to do,” Lechuga said as the women continued to argue with the officer on the platform. Then, Lechuga threw the race card, accusing the officer of picking on Nava to meet his monthly arrest quota and saying she won’t leave because she’s going to “stand up for her people.”
Eventually, other officers arrived and handcuffed both Nava and Lechuga, who continued swearing as they were taken into custody. “This is racism. This is what we are: 2018, m**********s like this want to just try to act like they can do whatever they want. F**k you guys,” yelled Lechuga, who appears to then spit at an officer.
Nava’s mother later told KTLA that the high school senior was taken to a hospital with a sprained wrist and claimed that her daughter only had her heel on the edge of her own seat. However, her daughter contradicted those remarks in another interview. Even so, she sued, and because of her allegations, the LAPD was conducting a use-of-force investigation regarding Nava’s arrest and reviewing all of the videos captured of the incident.
According to Metro’s 28-page customer code of conduct, Nava was in the wrong. The rules state that “placing feet or shoes on seats or furnishings” is prohibited disorderly conduct. What’s more, it also says such conduct may be penalized with ejection from the train. Even so, outrage ensued over the officer’s actions with some saying he went too far since they viewed the teen’s behavior as such a small infraction.
Those who seem to think Bethany Nava’s behavior was no big deal should be asked if they want to sit where she’s put her dirty shoes. Many ride public transportation wearing expensive office attire. They shouldn’t have to sit in filth from the shoes of some teen who thinks her comfort is more important than anyone else’s. Rather than defending her daughter, perhaps the girl’s mother should teach her some simple life lessons. First, have some manners. In public, keep your feet on the floor, not on someone else’s furniture. And, when a police officer gives you a lawful order, comply.