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More Videos of Abusive Policing Incidents Show the Urgent Need for Mayor de Blasio to Remove the NYPD Immediately from Social Distancing Enforcement, and Ensure Immediate Disciplinary Consequences for Officers Who Abuse Their Authority

New York  Leaders and members of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) today said that a growing number of abusive and violent policing incidents are the tip of the iceberg, and show that Mayor de Blasio must immediately remove the NYPD from all social distancing enforcement. 

They also called on de Blasio to ensure immediate and meaningful disciplinary consequences, including suspensions and termination, for officers who abuse their authority. 

There is a well-documented and disturbing trend of police officers abusing their authority during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and brutalizing New Yorkers in Black and other communities of color, CPR said today.

CPR released the following statement:

“A number of videos are circulating online that document abusive and violent policing incidents connected directly to the NYPD’s enforcement of social distancing. This is a disturbing trend, but what’s caught on video is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more abusive and violent policing incidents happening every day across the city that are not being filmed or shared on social media. We continue to see and hear accounts of police officers abusing their authority, conducting unconstitutional stops and searches, using force, pepper spray and tasers on Black and other New Yorkers of color during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Monifa Bandele, a leader of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

“In these horrific incidents, the NYPD is using enforcement of social distancing as a pretext - and sometimes as cover after the fact - to initiate and engage in unconstitutional policing, threats and physical attacks against New Yorkers. It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to step in and remove the NYPD immediately from all social distancing enforcement.  Mayor de Blasio must also ensure that there is speedy and meaningful discipline of officers who abuse their authority - including immediate unpaid suspensions and terminations," said Bandele of CPR and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

"It’s wrong for de Blasio to allow the NYPD to brutalize and attack New Yorkers in the name of social distancing enforcement. de Blasio should instruct the NYPD to follow the example of other cities that have halted enforcement of low-level and broken windows offenses during this pandemic. We should not be risking New York City’s public health by continuing abusive broken windows policing like stops, tickets, arrests or sweeps for low-level offenses in this pandemic. Our city cannot police its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health professionals and community organizations, not the NYPD, should be tasked with respectfully educating New Yorkers about the importance of social distancing, and helping to create new norms that will protect everyone,” said Bandele of CPR and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

Below are links to news accounts and some recent videos of violent and abusive incidents involving NYPD officers brutalizing New Yorkers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 



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