Public Advocate Calls On City To Inform Public On Social Distancing Enforcement

Jumaane Williams
Photo credit John McCarten/City Council
Sign up for WCBS 880's daily newsletter for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on Monday called on the city to provide more information about how social distancing guidelines are being enforced. 

The public advocate made the call after video surfaced over the weekend showing a police officer violently arresting a man for disobeying social distancing rules. The officer was not wearing a mask or gloves and used a stun gun to subdue the man.

Williams says the images tell the story, showing cops treating people difference based on the color of their skin.

“You can't have pictures of people handing out masks to one community, not even questioning why folks don't have masks on and being squished together in one community and then another people getting punched to the ground,” he said. 

For two weeks, Williams has been requesting data from the city about who is getting summonses and who is getting arrested. 

The information has yet to be released.

He also wants to know why officers are doing the enforcement, since the situation is about public health. 

“We have to have a real enforcement plan that is not just policing, going to cause problems,” he said.

A lawsuit for the data would be a last resort.

The officer seen in the arrest video has since had his badge and gun stripped and he has been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation. 

Stay informed, stay connected — follow WCBS 880 on Facebook and TwitterDownload the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.