Videos have surfaced of NYPD officers violently detaining pedestrians for not following social distancing guidelines.
The majority of social distancing arrests made in New York City have been against Black people.
In a report from the New York Times, 68 percent of people who have been arrested for violating social distancing rules have been Black. Deputy police commissioner Richard Esposito shared the statistics (he also revealed Hispanic people make up 24 percent, while white people make up seven percent) Thursday night.
The report comes as the New York Police Department has faced criticism for its handling of enforcing social distancing rules. Recently, a viral video surfaced showing plainclothes NYPD officers violently detaining three people for not following social distancing guidelines. Sources have identified two of the suspects as 31-year-old Shakiem Brunson and 22-year-old Ashley Serrano. Onlookers insisted that the two hadn’t done anything wrong.
Amid the majority of social distancing arrests taking place in predominantly minority neighborhoods, some have compared it to stop and frisk, which Mayor Bill de Blasio has dismissed.
“What happened with stop and frisk was a systematic, oppressive, unconstitutional strategy that created a new problem much bigger than anything it purported to solve,” he said during a news conference on Thursday. “This is the farthest thing from that. This is addressing a pandemic. This is addressing the fact that lives are in danger all the time. By definition, our police department needs to be a part of that because safety is what they do.”
Source: New York Times