Suspect being questioned in deadly NYC subway pushNEW YORK (AP) — Police questioned a suspect Tuesday in the death of a subway rider pushed onto the tracks and photographed while he was still alive — an image of desperation that drew virulent criticism after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post.
NEW YORK (AP) — Police questioned a suspect Tuesday in the death of a subway rider pushed onto the tracks and photographed while he was still alive — an image of desperation that drew virulent criticism after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said investigators recovered security video showing a man fitting the description of the assailant working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center.
Witnesses told investigators that they saw the suspect talking to himself Monday afternoon before he approached Ki-Suck Han at the Times Square station, got into an altercation with him and pushed him into the train's path.
Police took the man into custody Tuesday, but he hasn't yet been charged.
Han, 58, of Queens, died shortly after being struck. Police said he tried to climb a few feet to safety but got trapped between the train and the platform's edge.
The New York Post published a photo on their front page Tuesday of Han desperately looking at the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time. It was shot for the Post by freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi, who was on the platform waiting to catch a train as the situation unfolded.
Abbasi said in a video interview on the Post's website that he used the flash on his camera to try to warn the train driver that someone was on the tracks. He said he wasn't strong enough to lift Han.
“I wanted to help the man, but I couldn't figure out how to help,” Abbasi said. “It all happened so fast.”
Emotional questions arose Tuesday over the published photograph of the helpless man standing before the oncoming train.
The moral issue among professional photojournalists in such situations is “to document or to assist,” said Kenny Irby, an expert in the ethics of visual journalism at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based nonprofit journalism school.
Other media outlets chimed in on the controversy, many questioning why the photograph had been taken and published.
“I'm sorry. Somebody's on the tracks. That's not going to help,” said Al Roker on NBC's “Today” show as the photo was displayed.