The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation confirmed to the Daily Caller that one of the entrances to Middleton Playground, which is located in a heavily Jewish community, was welded shut Monday morning.
The gate will be “unwelded” Monday and a lock will be installed, according to the department.
The park‘s gates were welded just one day after thousands of protesters and demonstrators were allowed to gather Sunday in Brooklyn for a rally supporting black transgender people. Rallies and protests have been ongoing around the country since May 25, following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for roughly 9 minutes. (RELATED:De Blasio Warns Beachgoers Will ‘Be Taken Right Out Of The Water’ If They Try To Swim)
VIDEO: As @NYCMayor marches with protesters and orders Contact Tracers not to ask people if they were at protests, the City is welding shut a park that is largely used by Hasidim in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/HcAEo4jVA9
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) June 15, 2020
“All playgrounds are closed across the City to keep our children safe,” Anessa Hodgson, press officer for the NYC Parks & Recreation Department, told the Caller. “At this playground, a temporary measure was used to shut the playground after it was breached. It will be unwelded today and replaced with a lock.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been accused of selectively enforcing coronavirus restrictions and social distancing guidelines. Catholic priests and Jewish congregants filed a lawsuit Wednesday against de Blasio and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, accusing the top officials of religious discrimination for allowing the riots and protests to continue while not allowing people to attend worship services.
De Blasio issued a social distance warning April 28 that specifically singled out the Jewish community.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” he said in a tweet. “I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
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 summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
He later apologized, saying that he posted his tweet out of “frustration” over a Jewish funeral that did not follow social distancing guidelines, according to The Independent.
“I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people a feeling of being treated the wrong way, that was not my intention,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “It was said with love, but it was tough love.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information provided to the Daily Caller by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.