Vast majority of social distancing summonses in NYC went to black and Hispanic residents: NYPD

A NYPD vehicle patrols the piers during the coronavirus pandemic on May 03, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo credit Justin Heiman/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD has issued 374 summonses for social distancing violations during the COVID-19 pandemic — 81 percent of which went to black and Hispanic people, data released Friday shows. 

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Police issued the 374 summonses “for violations of emergency procedures and acts likely to spread disease” between March 16 and May 5, the department said in a release Friday. 

Black New Yorkers received 193 of those summonses, or nearly 52 percent, while Hispanic New Yorkers received 111 of them, or nearly 30 percent, the NYPD said.

In Brooklyn, the NYPD issued a total of 206 summonses; in the Bronx, that number stood at 99, the department said. All but one of the 374 summonses were issued at 17 different social gathering — including 12 in Brooklyn, where 121 were issued, and five in the Bronx, where 42 were issued, according to the department. 

The NYPD has drawn the ire of advocates, as well as New York City residents and politicians, who say police are disproportionately enforcing social distancing guidelines in neighborhoods of color.

Videos of social distancing arrests circulating online, meanwhile, have sparked comparisons to stop-and-frisk

“... (S)ocial distancing can’t become a modified version of stop and frisk in the excuse for stopping someone because of social distancing,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tweeted Thursday night. 

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on Friday, meanwhile, said the new NYPD data left him “speechless.”

“Even after all we’ve seen and known, this is egregious,” he tweeted. “Now, where is the arrest data?... or the accountability?”

The NYPD didn’t immediately release data on social distancing arrests, but the New York Times on Thursday reported that 39 of 40 people arrested for social distancing violations in Brooklyn between March 17 and May 4 were black or Hispanic. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, however, said the city wouldn’t “sideline the NYPD.”

“I am not making my decisions based on a very few interactions that were handled poorly or went bad,” he said. “I’m making my decisions based on the millions of interactions that are going right.” 

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