NYPD is accused of using stop and frisk like tactics in predominantly Black neighborhoods when enforcing social distancing rules.
What We Know:
- African American residents in different parts of New York City are being arrested for violating the social distancing order at a higher rate than their white counterparts.
- Data from the Brooklyn district attorney showed that between March 17th and May 4th, 40 people were arrested in Brooklyn for breaking social distancing rules. One was white, four were Hispanic, and 35 were Black.
- Between March 16th and May 5th police have made 120 arrest and issued nearly 500 summonses for social distancing violations, according to data provided by the police.
- The figure provides evidence that suggests that the whiter and more affluent areas of the city are less likely to be targeted by the police. More than a third of the arrests were made in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Brownsville, while no arrests were made in predomninantly white neighborhoods such as Park Slope.
- Residents have been sharing images and videos showing how the police are altering their tactics to enforcing social distancing depending on the neighborhood.
- One video that went viral showed officers handing out masks to a group of non-socially distanced white people in a park in the East Village, then the same officer in another video approaching and punching a person of color over not adhearing to social distancing rules.
- After the New York Times reported on the disparity in arrest numbers on Thursday, Mayor Blasio tweeted a response. “The disparity in numbers does NOT reflect our values! We HAVE to do better and we WILL.”
- The representative of the eighth congressional district, which is predominantly African American, Hakeem Jefferies, told the Times police tactics are similar to “stop and frisk”. “We can’t unleash a new era of overly agressive policing of communities of color in the name of social distancing” Jefferies said.
- Before the comparison between policing tactics was reported on and compared to “stop and frisk”, Blasio stated “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. This is adressing a pandemic. This is addressing the fact that lives are in danger all the time.”
- Jumaane Williams, who is the city’s public advocate, stated the recent incidents suggest that race and ethnicity sometimes play a role in who gets away with flouting the rules and who gets punished for it.
I don't know specifics of each pic.
I do know:
-we all must abide by social distancing rules
-too many people aren't & its problematic
-many warned @NYCMayor about relying so heavily on @NYPDnews
-there's been no response to @nycpa request for summons/arrests demographic data pic.twitter.com/X0xwobrqX4
— Jumaane Williams (@JumaaneWilliams) May 3, 2020
Black people make up 68% of those arrested on charges for violating social distancing rules, while Hispanic people make up 24% according to deputy police commissioner, Richard Esposito.