A union representing officers in the New York Police Department said Monday that police officers should not be required to enforce social distancing orders, calling the current situation “untenable.”
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA) referred to city leaders as “cowards,” and accused them of leaving police officers on their own to deal with the increasing backlash resulting from strict coronavirus restrictions. (RELATED: Authoritarianism On The Rise In The Age Of Coronavirus)
“The NYPD needs to get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “The cowards who run this city have given us nothing but vague guidelines and mixed messages, leaving the cops on the street corners to fend for ourselves.”
Lynch also ripped actions taken by the city to release hundreds of inmates from prison amid the coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: Michael Avenatti Released From Jail Over Coronavirus)
“Meanwhile, those same politicians are still watering down our laws, releasing real criminals and discouraging proactive enforcement of fare evasion and quality of life issues,” Lynch said.
.@NYCPBA calls for end of @NYPDnews policing of social distancing: “As the weather heats up & the pandemic continues to unravel our social fabric, police officers should be allowed to focus on our core public safety mission. If we don’t, the city will fall apart before our eyes.” pic.twitter.com/YPYZUh4TG2
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) May 4, 2020
The NYCPBA’s statement came after a video went viral over the weekend of NYPD officers violently apprehending someone who allegedly violated social distancing orders. Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at the city’s Jewish community last week after large crowds congregated at a Rabbi’s funeral, and said he was planning to increase enforcement of social distancing orders.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summon or even arrest those who gather in large groups,” de Blasio said. “This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.