A New York Post cover photo Tuesday of a man moments away from being fatally struck by an oncoming Subway train has sparked questions about the tabloid’s journalistic integrity and the photographer who captured the dramatic scene.
The horrifying scene unfolded Monday afternoon in a subway station in Manhattan as 58-year-old Ki-Suk Han was reportedly pushed onto the tracks by a deranged man with whom he argued at the Times Square station.
According to the reports, the man desperately tried to climb back onto the platform before getting caught between the downtown Q train and the platform. He was reportedly dragged 10 to 15 feet.
Police describe the suspect to be a black man in his mid-20s with dreadlocks. He was wearing a white T-shirt and a dark beanie hat at the time of the incident.
“[The attacker] was saying, ‘Get out of here’ and ‘Stop being crazy,’” a witness told the New York Daily News. “They started fighting and then he pushed him. You could see the train coming while he was on the tracks. It happened so quick.”
One of the onlookers was a Post photographer named R. Umar Abbasi, who was quoted as saying that he ran toward the train and tried to warn the conductor with his camera flash. Abbasi managed to capture disturbing images of Han seconds before his death, but the conductor could not stop the train in time.
The photo went viral Tuesday morning and has caused backlash from people who say Abbasi should have helped the man and not taken the photo.
“Glad the NY Post found time to take a picture of a man pushed into the path of the train to his death instead of HELPING HIM,” said one Twitter user.
Others believe that the Post should not have printed the disturbing photo, regardless of whether the photographer could have actually saved the victim.
“Journalism sinks to a new low this morning as the NY Post has front page pic of person about to get hit by train & die,” read another tweet.
The married father of a college age daughter died at St. Luke’s Hospital. Police are still looking for his attacker.