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East Village Incident is Part of a Disturbing Trend: Police Accountability Advocates Call for Immediate Firing of Officer Francisco Garcia, and Removal of NYPD from Social Distancing Enforcement

New York  Leaders and members of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) are horrified and angered by the abusive policing incident in the East Village that occurred over the weekend. 

They connect it to a disturbing trend of police officers abusing their authority during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and brutalizing New Yorkers in black and brown communities.

In a statement today, CPR called for the immediate firing of NYPD officer Francisco Garcia, the release of the names of all officers involved in the East Village incident, and the removal of the NYPD from social distancing enforcement.  

CPR's full statement is below. 

“Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD should immediately release the names of all officers involved in the abusive policing incident in the East Village that was caught on video. NYPD officer Francisco Garcia should be placed on unpaid suspension immediately and disciplinary charges against him should be expedited so that he can be fired. Additionally, all officers on the scene yesterday who engaged in misconduct should be suspended, not simply put on temporary modified duty. There needs to be an independent investigation that closely scrutinizes the first two arrests in the incident. Those arrests also appear to be improper, based on cops claiming social distancing violations and alleging there was marijuana present,” said Joo-Hyun Kang, Director of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

“The East Village incident is part of a disturbing trend. On the ground, we are hearing and seeing too many stories from Black and Brown communities about police abusing their authority and brutalizing New Yorkers during this COVID-19 pandemic. That’s wrong and unacceptable. Some police officers are clearly using enforcement of social distancing to initiate and engage in threats and violent attacks against New Yorkers. That needs to stop. The NYPD should follow the example of other municipalities that have halted enforcement of low-level and broken windows offenses. Our city cannot police its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health professionals and community organizations, not the NYPD, should be responsible for educating New Yorkers about the importance of social distancing and creating new norms,” said Kang of CPR.


About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

Topics: Broken Windows CopWatch