The New York City Police Benevolent Association (NYC PBA) recently stated that NYPD needs to get cops out of enforcing social distancing policies. It tweeted that it “calls for end of @NYPDnews policing of social distancing.”
“As the weather heats up & the pandemic continues to unravel our social fabric, police officers should be allowed to focus on our core public safety mission. If we don’t, the city will fall apart before our eyes,” the tweet said, quoting Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch.
Officers from the New York Police Department have decried city officials “get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether,” Fox News reported. This comes after backlash from a violent confrontation with cops as officers attempted to enforce the rules.
Officers have received “nothing but vague guidelines and mixed messages,” Lynch said in a statement. He then mentioned that this left “the cops on the street corners to fend for ourselves.”
When Cops Go Overboard
“The NYPD needs to get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether!” https://t.co/9jZrvJzyex
— NYCPBA Legal (@NYCPBA_GC) May 4, 2020
The police department has dispatched 1,000 officers last weekend to break up large gatherings and enforce social distancing rules. According to officials, they issued over 112 summonses in the city over the weekend, with at least three people arrested.
Officers handcuffed Shakiem Brunson, 31, and Ashley Serrano, 22. Fox News reported that when officers approached Donni Wright, 33, a confrontation took place. A video recording of the incident exists and it showed the officer slapping and punching Wright. It also showed him drag Wright to a sidewalk.
The video went viral on social media.
Charges against Wright include assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. However, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, it would defer prosecution pending further investigation, reported Fox News.
The incident is “unacceptable,” according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. He also mentioned that they’ve stripped the officer of his gun and badge. Additionally, the officer received a desk duty assignment pending an investigation.
“This one incident is troubling, but there’s been thousands and tens of thousands of interactions between police officers and civilians over the last weeks that went very well where the NYPD went and made sure that people were practicing social distancing when enforcement was necessary,” he said.
In his statement, Lynch said, “nobody has a right to interfere with a police action. But now that the inevitable backlash has arrived, they are once again throwing us under the bus.”