New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced today (May 15) that the NYPD will no longer arrest/ticket people who aren’t wearing a mask amid COVID-19.
During de Blasio’s daily briefing, he said, “NYPD will not take enforcement actions for failing to wear face coverings,” NY Post reports.
The news comes weeks after several controversial videos of police making social distancing arrests sparked outrage in urban communities. We covered the reports, in one case, a Bronx cop was stripped of his gun and badge after an alarming video showed him using excessive force to make a social distance arrest. De Blasio also faced backlash for how he handled the situation. More recently, earlier this week, another disturbing video of a woman at an NYC subway station got arrested by cops in front of her child for not wearing a mask.
The mayor also laid out the structure for “resetting” the police/community relationship.
“The reset will be this: We start with the fundamental notion the NYPD is here to protect lives, to save lives, and where we see the greatest danger to lives in terms of the coronavirus and the areas where we can enforce is around gatherings, particularly large gatherings, so that’s where we’re going to focus.”
The NYPD feels this change is essential in order to maintain a healthy policy/community relationship. In addition, It’s better to work together than against one another.
However, the NYPD will reportedly still give out summonses if people don’t disperse when asked by cops.