NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 is getting a first look that NYPD’s actual record of enforcing social distancing amid emotional charges that communities of color have been unfairly targeted.

The numbers show two sides to the story.

Political reporter Marcia Kramer has the exclusive story.

There have been cringe-worthy videos. One shows police restraining a 15-year-old in East New York over the weekend. Another on the Lower East Side lead to a police Internal Affairs probe. Both have been cited as evidence that police have targeted members of the minority community in enforcing social distancing.

“It’s the new stop and frisk,” said attorney Sanford Rubenstein.

On Thursday, a caravan drove from police precincts in Brooklyn to Manhattan in protest.

Watch Ali Bauman’s report

“They are not dealing with this issue in the white community, but in the black community, we are being harassed, we are being beaten,” community activist Rev. Kevin McCall said.

“The way they tossed my son in the street, broke ribs, stood on his head like he was nothing, it just sickens me,” said Donna Wright, the mother of one victim.


A police source emphatically denies the NYPD is substituting social distancing for stop and frisk.

Data obtained exclusively by CBS2 shows stops are down dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. From March 16-May 5, police made 1,053 stops, compared to 2,335 in 2019.

When it comes to social distancing enforcement, the NYPD recorded about one million contacts that lead to 368 summonses and 120 arrests.

Breaking down the arrests by race: Nearly 68% were black, 24% were Hispanic and nearly 7% were white.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police captain, told Kramer he finds that troubling.

“If we’re saying after the initial engagement it leads to police action, and over 90% of police action leads to the arrests of people of color, that is problematic because it states that we didn’t have to do anything too often, but when we did do it, 90% were black and Hispanic,” Adams said.

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Police Commissioner Dermot Shea had a different take.

“We have been enforcing citywide with an extremely light touch,” he said. “We have had millions of contacts with people and a handful of summonses, violations and arrests. I don’t want to turn the NYPD into the morality police.”

Both the mayor and the police commissioner say the videos represent only a small number of incidents, but the commissioner said he would evaluate each one and let the chips fall where they may.

“We have to make an impartial decision,” Shea said.

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The DA is investigating several cases in Brooklyn.

“A lot of these videos, cooler heads didn’t prevail,” said Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, commanding officer of Brooklyn North.

He had a message for those who think communities of color are being targeted.

“Tensions just got a little too hot,” he said. “We are not targeting a particular neighborhood.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised new guidelines, and said he is working on a plan to get community groups involved in social distancing.

Comments (13)
  1. JasonMick69 says:

    Same old tired excuses. NYPD runs a club of Mafia, Thugs and Social Outcasts to enforce the already questionable laws of that Mafia enclave.

    It is not a bad apple…..the whole orchard is toxic, worst than Chernobyl

    Go out and Protest, Protest, go out and protest. ,

    1. NJCardFan says:

      Fun Fact: New York City is a far left city but I bet you’re a leftist.

  2. John says:

    It’s not a “Law”. Every single one of the charges were dropped because prosecutors know that they can’t prevail in court. You CAN NOT be charged with, “Failing to Social Distance”.

  3. Steve D says:

    Hands Up
    Don’t Shoo

    1. NJCardFan says:

      Still going with that lie huh.

  4. NYPD are terrorizing the public.

  5. Brett says:

    “Enforce”? “Law”? “Social Distancing is not a law and there is nothing legitimate to “enforce”, no matter how many times Little Hitlers like De Blasio and Cuomo claim otherwise. Laws are only passed by legislatures and votes, not decree. Even if there was martial law, which there is not, you still have to justify the actions, and stating “it’s for your own good” is not sufficient.

    1. C says:

      Brett, you are spot on. The executive cannot just make a new rule and give the police the authority to break someone’s ribs to ‘enforce’ the executive’s order. It’s amazing just how ignorant people are of their own GOD GIVEN rights.

    2. jnobfan says:

      There is no “Law” since Justice Roberts decided judges could make their own

  6. says:

    So the communities most affected by the virus are protesting social distancing enforcement, while claiming race and poverty are the causes of their alarming death rates? How about stupidity? I have yet to see one of these videos that show that a single individual was arrested. Always a group of idiots,who flaunt a law designed to protect them.

  7. Steve Kim says:

    Do the Criminals they release have to social distance while they commit more crimes?

  8. CYRUS says:

    As we are still in a pandemic, it is absolutely essential that we continue to enforce social distancing guidelines. If we do not, I assure you that there will be a rebound in cases especially as the weather improves and more people are out of their homes, and hence, a delay in reoppenning. Police absolutely must enforce this laws fairly and consistently, and the public must do their part by being socially responsible by maintaining social distance and wearing masks especially when in an enclosed public facility.

    1. Jason says:

      This has nothing to do with Social Distancing but the way these steroid thugs act.
      That steroid bulldog was waving the phaser at the crowd. And he has no mask , no gloves.
      So what is what?
      In Europe they stop you and if you dont wear a mask they fine you. Decently.

      The law is not the argument, it is the constant brutality of the NYPD tactics.

      We need Random , and constant steroid tests of every police officer.
      We will save lives and maybe help them as well.
      Steroids destroy the mind and body.
      And they are doing these drugs.
      Read , if would like about “ Steroid Rage “ and domestic violence, please

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