Rally supports woman handcuffed for selling churros at Broadway Junction

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Transit riders, street vendors and elected officials rallied Monday against the MTA and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to a viral video showing a woman being handcuffed for selling churros in the subway.

The video shows the woman being handcuffed at Broadway Junction for selling churros on Friday without a license. Police say the woman, now identified as Elsa, was issued a summons and her churro cart was taken as evidence. They also say the woman has been issued 10 summonses in the last five months for unlicensed vending at the same subway station.

Police say Elsa was uncuffed and released within minutes.

The rally was held against aggressive law enforcement toward food vendors. Elsa says she doesn't have a vending-cart license because of how much it costs to get one.

People rallying on Monday say Elsa was just trying to make a living and that the governor should help create opportunities for vendors to work without being harassed by officers.

"I feel absolutely horrible. I feel very nervous, very stressed and absolutely devastated. They took everything away from me. I left crying and broken," said Elsa.

Protesters are also speaking out against Cuomo's plan to hire 500 new MTA officers. They say that money could instead be used to improve bus and subway service.

The MTA's rules of conduct prohibit vendors from selling or distributing food and goods. News 12 reached out to the MTA in response to Monday's rally, but the agency declined to comment.

The woman who took the video of Elsa being handcuffed says she wants to help Elsa get her cart back. She says she wants to start a GoFundMe to help pay any fines that she was given.

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