The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Chief, Thomas J. Nestel III, lied about people recording a woman being raped on a train on Oct. 13.
Original reports alleged that a 35-year-old man had raped a woman on a Philadelphia train as bystanders watched and did nothing or recorded the rape for notoriety.
SEPTA Chief Thomas Nestel III told reporters that people should be angry and disgusted by society’s lack of action.
“I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked. We want everyone to be angry, disgusted, and to join us in being resolute in keeping our system safe,” he said. “We need the public to notify us when they see something that seems to be unusual.”
SEPTA also released a statement condemning the public for failing to stop or report the assault.
“The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act. There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911.”
Timothy Bernhardt is the Police Superintendent of the City of Darby, Pa. and pushed the false narrative that society ignored the assault.
“It’s disturbing that there were definitely people on the El, and no one did anything to intervene or help this woman. It speaks to where we are in society; I mean, who would allow something like that to take place?”
The problem is that Nestel, the SEPTA and Bernhardt lied about bystanders purposely doing nothing to help the woman.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told the press that Nestel was mistaken in his assertion of the events of Oct. 13. He noted that security footage proved that the false narrative being spun by the police was untrue.
“There is a narrative out there that people sat there on the El train and watched this transpire and took videos of it for their own gratification,” said Stollsteimer. “That is simply not true. It did not happen. We have security video from SEPTA that shows that is not the true narrative.”
Journalist Ernest Owens was skeptical of the narrative and decided to investigate. The truth is that the train car where the rape happened sometime after 10 p.m. had very few riders, and people who got on at one stop and off on the next either didn’t realize a woman had been assaulted or thought they were witnessing a consensual act. The idea that people gawked at a woman being raped while recording the entire rape was untrue.
The narrative the police released to the public could have been an attempt to garner public support for police work when critics of police brutality want police reform. The slogan “Defund the Police” is already confusing to many, and police appear to be on a public relations tour.
Police have also lied before to get convictions. In one instance, three detectives in Philadelphia lied on the stand during a retrial for an innocent man who’d spent 25 years in prison. DNA evidence exonerated the man and proved the detectives were liars. The detectives also lied in depositions.
It's really fascinating how much people cannot believe that the police will lie on the witness stand, in public hearings, on TV, online. The police lie. If more people just believed that, we'd be able to move so much.
— deray (@deray) October 29, 2021
Someone needs to police the police, and the false response to a woman being raped spread by the authorities is another reason why they can’t be trusted blindly.
Fiston Ngoy was arrested for the rape and is being held at the Delaware County Prison on $180,000 bail.