Criminal courts across the city resume in-person cases, public defenders concerned

Criminal courts across the city are resuming in-person grand jury cases, but a group of public defenders say they are concerned court buildings may not be safe enough to conduct in-person proceedings during the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Aug 10, 2020, 8:23 PM

Updated 1,386 days ago

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Criminal courts across the city are resuming in-person grand jury cases, but a group of public defenders say they are concerned court buildings may not be safe enough to conduct in-person proceedings during the pandemic. 
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York was joined by a group of public defenders and rallied in front of the Bronx Hall of Justice Monday.
They say the safety measures in court buildings, particularly at the Bronx Hall of Justice, don't go far enough to ensure public safety.  
Several signs outside the court building require face coverings before entering, as well as posted COVID-19 safety and health guidelines. 
Temperature and questionnaire screenings are also being done prior to entry. 
In a statement, the Office of Court Administration tells News 12, “So far we have distributed to Courts hundreds of gallons of sanitizer, tens of thousands of masks, gloves, and face shields and have spent more than half a million dollars on Plexiglas so that all court users can feel safe and secure in our buildings.”
Protesters say they believe it’s still too soon to begin opening they city’s courts to the public, especially when COVID-19 is still claiming lives.


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