On Friday, May 22, 2020, at a City Council public safety committee hearing, members and leaders of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) called for complete removal of NYPD officers from enforcement of social distancing enforcement. They recommended that public health professionals and community organizations are 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. They also called for deep NYPD budget cuts to be redirected to agencies to meet basic needs and help ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery for Black, Latinx, and other communities of color in NYC. Written and oral comments were submitted by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and CPR Members from New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU); Drug Policy Alliance; Justice Committee, Legal Aid Society; Center for Constitutional Rights; and Take Root Justice.
On Thursday, May 21, 2020, at a city council finance committee hearing, members and leaders of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) called for deep NYPD budget cuts, and a redirection of resources toward underfunded city agencies that will need to play a large role in driving an equitable recovery for New Yorkers hit hardest by COVID-19. Written and oral comments were submitted by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and CPR Members from Audre Lorde Project; Arab American Association of NY; Brooklyn Movement Center; Girls for Gender Equity; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice; and Justice Committee.
Last week, a group of Orthodox Jewish people gathered at a lot located at 55th Street between 14th and 15th avenues in Crown Heights to celebrate Lag B’Omer, a Jewish holiday. There were dozens in the area dancing, with loud music blaring and no masks being worn. They were openly flouting social distancing rules. Police officers eventually showed up and cleared the area without incident.
In the Queens borough of New York City, which is 47.9% white, police officers have arrested at least 20 people over social-distancing issues since May 3.
Out of those 20 people, 16 were black or Hispanic, two were Asian, and two were white, a representative for the Queens District Attorney's Office told Business Insider. That means 90% of those arrested were people of color.
In the six weeks since March 17, police officers in Brooklyn have arrested 40 people for violating social-distancing rules.
Thirty-five of the people arrested were black and four Hispanic. Just one is white, even though 49.5% of Brooklyn residents are white, according to the US Census Bureau.
That means that 39 out of 40 — or 97.5% — of the arrests were for people of color.
All 40 cases have been dropped.