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Racial Disparities in Recent Violent Police Incidents and Arrests Show that Mayor de Blasio Must Remove the NYPD Immediately from Social Distancing Enforcement, and Cut the NYPD's Bloated Budget

New York – Leaders of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) today said racial disparities in recent violent police incidents and arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic show that Mayor de Blasio must remove the NYPD immediately from social distancing enforcement, and cut the NYPD's bloated, almost $6 billion budget.

"The stark racial disparities reflected in the initial release of NYPD social distancing enforcement data confirms what we already knew about police officers brutalizing Black New Yorkers and other New Yorkers of color during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor de Blasio must take action today to remove the NYPD from social distancing enforcement. The fact that de Blasio has refused to insist on unpaid suspensions and firing of abusive officers has created a dangerous situation where officers who abuse their authority know their jobs are safe and that they won't be held accountable by the department. That’s wrong and unacceptable,” said Loyda Colon, a leader of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and co-director of Justice Committee, whose pronouns are they/them. 

"What's being reported so far about NYPD social distancing enforcement is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more abusive and violent policing incidents happening every day across the city under the pretext of social distancing that are not resulting in summons or arrest. We are seeing and hearing accounts of abuse of authority, refusal by cops to identify themselves, unconstitutional stops and searches, excessive force, pepper spray, tasers and other violent policing of Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color that will be referred to as so-called social distancing enforcement but is often simply abusive broken windows policing being rebranded during this COVID-19 pandemic," said Colon of CPR and Justice Committee.

"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 violence against New Yorkers. Public health professionals and community organizations, not the NYPD, should be resourced and tasked with educating New Yorkers about the importance of social distancing, and helping to create new norms that will protect all communities through the pandemic. As the FY21 budget is being negotiated, the NYPD's bloated, almost $6 billion budget must be cut so that we can strengthen crucial public health infrastructure, services like the Summer Youth Employment Program, and the broader social safety net and community resources we will need for communities of color to survive this pandemic period with less inequality than exists today," said Colon of CPR and Justice Committee.



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 NYC Budget Justice