City Council holds hearing on social distancing, enforcement

With many people now making plans for Memorial Day weekend, city leaders are reminding New Yorkers to keep their distance at local parks and other outdoor venues.

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2020, 9:05 PM

Updated 1,467 days ago

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With many people now making plans for Memorial Day weekend, city leaders are reminding New Yorkers to keep their distance at local parks and other outdoor venues. 
A City Council Zoom hearing was held Friday to discuss disturbing social distancing arrests in communities of color. 
“One, it's going to be warmer, two, it's a holiday weekend and we are starting to send mixed messages again about people coming out and where they can go away they can't go,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. 
He says those mixed messages have come with a cost to minority communities in the form of over-policing. 
Williams points to several arrests involving what he says was aggressive police enforcement against people of color, including an altercation where a Brooklyn mother was arrested by police for refusing to wear a mask in public. 
The city recently changed its policy on NYPD arrests for social distancing and face coverings. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will be working with 18 community based anti-violence groups to encourage people to comply with social distancing guidelines. 
“This is an exciting initiative because it is the best way to move people when it's their own neighbors helping them understand what's keeping them safe,” said Williams.
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