A New York City police officer was stripped of his badge and gun and placed on desk duty after violently arresting a man for allegedly failing to comply with social distancing on Saturday.
What We Know:
- Officer Francisco Garcia is seen in the video with plain clothes and no face mask attempting to tell 33-year-old Donni Wright to disperse by slapping him in the face, punching him in the shoulder, and dragging him down the sidewalk.
- NYPD Police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell said Wright “took a fighting stance against the officer” when he was ordered to disperse and was arrested on charges including assault on a police officer and resisting arrest, according to ABC7NY.
- The video posted by Instagram user Shaun King, showed a bulk of the incident. Wright is not in the frame the entire time but when he is shown, he’s seen with a clenched fist. Garcia asks him to, “stop flexing”.
- The charges have been deferred pending further investigation. The arrest highlights contradictions in how NYPD has been enforcing social distancing. Another couple on the same block were arrested with failing to comply with the standards moments earlier.
- The NYPD assigned over 1,000 officers to enforce social distancing in the city as the temperatures began to rise going over 70 degrees this past weekend. Other videos have shown NYPD officers gently asking people to disperse and handing out face masks in city parks.
In short, many have criticized the event, such as New York lawyer and human rights advocate, Kumar Rao tweeting that the “NYPD should never have been tasked with enforcing social distancing, mask-wearing, or quarantine rules.” An interview with Carolyn Martinez-Class on an ABC news affiliate in Philadelphia, also backs up this mentality.