PD calls out YouTube for removing video of hate crime attack

The platform said the video violated its “violent or graphic content policy”

In an update Tuesday afternoon, Fox News reported that YouTube reinstated the video of the attack to the Yonkers Police Department's YouTube channel. The video was reactivated with an age restriction.

Jack Malon, a YouTube spokesperson, told Fox News that administrators reviewed the video again and determined there was no violation.

"Upon review, we determined this video did not violate our Community Guidelines and have reinstated it with an age-restriction, in accordance with our Graphic Content policy," Malon wrote in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday. "When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been mistakenly removed, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content."

By Suzie Ziegler 

YONKERS, N.Y. — The Yonkers Police Department in New York has suggested that YouTube wrongly removed a video the department shared to its YouTube channel. The video showed surveillance footage of a hate crime suspect beating an Asian woman. On Monday, Yonkers PD said in a Facebook post that the video had been taken down for content violations. 

“We reviewed your content carefully and have confirmed that it violates our violent or graphic content policy,” YouTube administrators wrote in a missive to the Yonkers PD. The message went on to say that the content would not be put back up on YouTube. 

Yonkers PD objected to the video’s removal, writing on Facebook, "Dear YouTube, Safety isn't derived from censoring content and information; it's the product of a free society that adheres to the rule of law." 

However, the video can still be viewed on the agency’s YouTube channel, albeit behind an age-restriction wall. The video from March 11 shows a woman trying to enter her apartment building when a man walks into the vestibule and begins beating her. After two minutes of punching, the man leaves. 

Police said they were investigating the incident as a hate crime. The woman, 67, was of Asian descent and the man referred to her race in a derogatory way before the attack, police said. The suspect was charged with one count of attempted murder as a hate crime and one count of assault. The woman is listed as stable after suffering multiple contusions, facial bone fractures and lacerations, police said.

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Per YouTube’s content policies, “violent or gory content intended to shock or disgust viewers, or content encouraging others to commit violent acts, are not allowed.” The policy further outlines its ban on violent content to include: 

  • Inciting others to commit violent acts against individuals or a defined group of people. 

  • Fights involving minors. 

  • Footage, audio or imagery involving road accidents, natural disasters, war aftermath, terrorist attack aftermath, street fights, physical attacks, immolation, torture, corpses, protests or riots, robberies, medical procedures or other such scenarios with the intent to shock or disgust viewers. 

  • Footage or imagery showing bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, with the intent to shock or disgust viewers. 

  • Footage of corpses with massive injuries, such as severed limbs.

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