DC Police Officer Punched While Trying To Enforce Social Distancing Orders

(Credit: Screenshot/Twitter, Public User @anacostia904)

Patricia Patnode Contributor
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A viral video shows a man punching a D.C. police officer who was enforcing social distancing regulations, causing a foot chase which resulted in the man’s eventual arrest.

Two D.C. police officers were attempting to disperse a group of men who had reportedly gathered to play basketball May 25 at a public court in Southeast Washington, D.C.

FOX5 DC reported that 30-year-old Clay Wendell has been charged with assault on a police officer, unlawful entry, resisting arrest and being a fugitive from justice.

The police did not cite anyone playing basketball at the time for violating the D.C.’s stay-at-home orders, according to FOX5.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser noted the video in a recent press conference.

“I saw that video and it made me very angry,” Bowser said. “For a police officer who was just doing his job to be hit, to be assaulted for — from what I saw, what was a very respectful interaction — just imagine how bad that could have gone.”

Chief of the D.C. Metro Police Department Peter Newsham recently told FOX5 DC that the majority of people comply with police enforcement of social distancing orders.

“When you look at the video of the police officer getting punched in the face, that just shows you some of the challenges that our officers face out there every single day,” Newsham told FOX5. “That one happened to be caught on video.”

He said deliberate resistance to police commands to leave the area would likely result in arrest.

Washington, D.C. will reportedly begin its gradual reopening on Friday. (RELATED: ‘Really, Really Frustrating’: NoVA Gym Owners Feel The Pain Of Delayed Reopening)