Doormen fired for failing to intervene in anti-Asian attack

This image taken from surveillance video provided by the New York City Police Department shows an apartment building employee, center, closing the building's front door after a man assaulted a 65-year-old Asian American woman, Monday afternoon, March 29, 2021, a few blocks from New York's Times Square. The property developer and manager of the building wrote on Instagram that it was aware of the assault and said staff members who witnessed it were suspended pending an investigation.(Courtesy of New York Police Department via AP)
This image taken from surveillance video provided by the New York City Police Department shows an apartment building employee, center, closing the building's front door after a man assaulted a 65-year-old Asian American woman, Monday afternoon, March 29, 2021, a few blocks from New York's Times Square. The property developer and manager of the building wrote on Instagram that it was aware of the assault and said staff members who witnessed it were suspended pending an investigation.(Courtesy of New York Police Department via AP)

NEW YORK – Two New York City apartment building workers have been fired for failing to help an Asian American woman as she was being violently attacked on the sidewalk outside, the building's management company said Tuesday.

Surveillance video of the March 29 attack near Times Square showed that the doormen didn't step outside and approach the woman until more than a minute after the violence stopped and the assailant walked away.

The men watched from the lobby as 65-year-old Vilma Kari was repeatedly kicked and stomped, the video showed. One of them closed the building’s door as Kari lay on the ground seconds after the attack ended.

The building's management company, The Brodsky Organization, initially suspended the doormen pending an investigation. That investigation was completed on Tuesday and the doormen were fired, the company said.

“While the full lobby video shows that once the assailant had departed, the doormen emerged to assist the victim and flag down an NYPD vehicle, it is clear that required emergency and safety protocols were not followed,” the company said in a statement.

The Brodsky Organization also pledged to give all building services employees training on emergency response protocols, anti-bias awareness and bystander intervention.

The doormen's union, SEIU 32BJ, said the workers are challenging their terminations under a grievance process outlined in their collective bargaining agreement. The process can take months, the union said.

"We believe we must root out systemic racism in all its forms," 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg said in a statement. “We believe that all union workers, especially workers of color who are often the subject of unfair treatment on the job, have a right to a fair process as outlined in their contract.”