Cops accused of storing dead bodies in MTA employee break rooms

Cops accused of storing dead bodies in MTA employee break rooms

Cops accused of storing dead bodies in MTA employee break roomsCops accused of storing dead bodies in MTA employee break roomsStand clear of the dead bodies.

“Leaking” corpses of people killed by subway trains are often brought to employee lunch rooms and other break areas inside stations, disgusted union officials and sources said Monday.

In an effort to restore service quickly, bodies are simply carted off to “whatever room happens to be nearest,” a union source told The Post.

“If a lunch room is the nearest, they’ll put it in the lunch room,” the source said.

And that’s enough to make transit workers lose their lunch.

LaShawn Jones, 52, who has been a station agent for 18 years, said she was coming into work at the 103rd Street 1 train station about five years ago — and made a quick stop in the employee bathroom when she saw some NYPD Emergency Service Unit officers handling a body inside.

“They weren’t aware that I was coming in and I wasn’t aware that they were in there,” Jones told The Post. “All I remember seeing was a black bag with purplish stuff.”

Jones returned to the bathroom on her lunch break — and though the body was gone, she saw some “hair and scalp and basically body parts in the sink,” she said.

Jones said she immediately went to her booth and called her supervisor. The mess was eventually cleaned up, “but the fact I had to experience that was disgusting,” she said.

“That can totally mess with your psyche, not just for that day but for the future as well,” Jones added. “I couldn’t go home. I was hysterical and I was crying, but by the time the supervisor got there, I calmed myself down.”

Others are so traumatized that they need to take time off, said Derick Echevarria, vice president of stations for Transport Workers Union Local 100.

“To see pieces of a body is traumatizing,” he said. “It stays with them to see something like that.”

Theresa Green, a station agent for 28 years who is a member of the TWU Local 100 union, told the Chief-Leader, which was the first to report the story, that dead bodies at subway stations have been handled this way for years and “nothing was ever done.”

“I saw this on April 7, 2008, when someone committed suicide in the Franklin Avenue C station in Brooklyn, and it still goes on because this is their procedure,” Green told the paper.

Union officials said it takes at least two hours for a corpse to leave the station.

“The police are forced [to] store the bodies in utility rooms and other subway rooms while waiting for Medical Examiner’s Office staff to arrive. It’s unacceptable that transit workers have to endure this on the job,” a TWU Local 100 spokesperson said in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio and his administration have failed to provide enough staffing for the Medical Examiner’s Office to quickly retrieve and remove bodies from the subway after these tragedies.”

An MTA source said bodies are temporarily kept in non-public areas by the NYPD while they wait for the medical examiner to show up.

In a statement, an MTA spokesperson said that “it’s of the utmost importance” that anyone who dies in the subway system is removed from the tracks and platforms as fast as possible “to restore service quickly and to give humane treatment to the deceased and their family.”

“The placement and removal of bodies are handled by NYPD and the NYC Medical Examiner, and we’re discussing with TWU officials how any of the current practices can be enhanced for the comfort of our workers,” the statement said.

A City Hall spokeswoman said in a statement that the ME’s office and the NYPD “are committed to reducing our response times even further to ensure both the humane treatment of the deceased and the health of subway workers and straphangers.”

Only members of the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit can remove dead bodies from a subway track or tunnel, according to a section of the department’s patrol guide provided to The Post.


Texas bathroom bill appears to be all but dead in special session

Protesters rally in favor of transgender rights at the Texas Capitol, on July 21, 2017.
Protesters rally in favor of transgender rights at the Texas Capitol, on July 21, 2017.

 Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

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Despite it serving, in part, as the reason lawmakers are back in Austin for legislative overtime, the Texas Legislature could very well gavel out next week without passing a “bathroom bill.”

With just days left in the 30-day special legislative session, controversial proposals to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans appear to have no clear path to the governor’s desk. As was the case during the regular legislative session that concluded in May, efforts to pass any sort of bathroom bill — a divisive issue pitting Republicans against business leaders, LGBT advocates, law enforcement and even fellow Republicans — have stalled in the Texas House.

And it’s unlikely that will change in the coming days.

“I’d say the chances are definitely getting smaller,” Republican state Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton, who filed two bathroom bills during the special session, said earlier this week.

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The push to keep transgender Texans out of bathrooms that match their gender identity — a move opponents said was discriminatory and could endanger transgender individuals — largely dominated the regular legislative session between protests, lobbying days, two overnight hearings, legislative bickering among Republican leaders over proposed bathroom bills and, eventually, a forced special session.

Restricting bathroom use in public facilities was deemed a legislative priority by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. But House Speaker Joe Straus, with the increased backing of the business community, emerged as his most prominent foil on the issue.

Gov. Greg Abbott — who for months during the regular session was reticent to voice his support for a bathroom bill — eventually took the lieutenant governor’s side and added the issue to his 20-item agenda for a special session that Patrick forced him to call by holding hostage legislation needed to keep open the doors at a handful of state agencies.

But amid concerns for the safety of an already vulnerable population and statewide economic fallout, those efforts did little to sway the speaker.

When lawmakers returned to Austin in July, the Senate quickly passed its latest version of the bill to regulate bathroom use in public schools and local government buildings based on the gender listed on a birth certificate or Texas ID. It would also nix parts of local nondiscrimination ordinances meant to ensure transgender Texans can use public bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Just like during the regular session, Straus has refused to refer that bill to a House committee — the first step in the legislative process.