NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)A second night of violent demonstrations in Borough Park — and no arrests — are raising questions about whether the city has a double standard and is being “politically selective” in enforcing the COVID-19 shutdowns.

CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer put the tough questions to Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday.

For the second night in a row, Hasidim in Borough Park protested new coronavirus restrictions. The violence included a vicious attack on Jacob Kornbluh, a reporter for the Jewish Insider, by one of the protest organizers.

“He came towards me without a mask, almost pinning me to the shopfront and started talking to me, spitting into my face,” Kornbluh said. “The crowd just ganged on me… somebody hit me in the head.”

Video from the protest Wednesday night and the night before, where fires were set and there were other assaults, show few police and a restrained response. There were no arrests either night.

That was in sharp contrast to the NYPD response to a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington Square Park almost two weeks ago, when hundreds of cops surrounded protesters. Police in riot gear and on bikes rushed into the crowd.

“The police just came and stormed in and took our belongings… They swarmed us. We were peacefully assembled. There was nothing, no violence,” one organizer said at the time.

LINK: New York City’s Second Coronavirus Shutdown Begins For Schools, Businesses In Hot Zones

Pastor Gil Monrose of the 67th Precinct God Squad — community leaders who make sure demonstrators are treated fairly — said that when it comes to policing it’s a tale of two cities, citing unequal treatment.

“I want good policing all across the board. I just don’t want two different sets of policing for two sets of different communities,” he said. “We have to be on the same sheet of music.”

Kramer put the questions to Mayor de Blasio.

“But Mr. Mayor people are saying that they’re not being treated equally,” Kramer said. “What do you say to people who say is an unequal response?”

“Again, Marcia, I disagree with you on the level of presence based on the reports I received that there was more police presence last night than the night before, but what I think is absolutely right is that we need a very, very clear message to all the communities that are affected… instructing the NYPD and the law department and the legal experts on this to get together and come up with a single clear standard.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed the increase in infection might not have happened if the city enforced the law.

“Don’t be politically selective in the enforcement of the law,” Cuomo said. “It can’t be a situation like ‘I enforce the law unless the community is not upset.'”

The city and the NYPD will be put to the test Thursday night if there are more demonstrations.

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Comments
  1. onlythetruth says:

    Truthfully, I don’t know why I am bothering to respond to this latest bit of reporting because you will believe what you want, with or without the facts. The narrative about Orthodox Jews and Boro Park was written in your minds well before the protests. That said, I feel it’s my responsibility to expose the hypocrisy in the reporting about my community.

    I live in Boro Park and my family members were actually at the protest, which had a very different tone than the lie the media is promoting.

    Double standard? Don’t make me laugh! It was NOT violent. How can you compare BLM protests with what happened in Boro Park? There was no looting. There was no rampaging. No police were assaulted. A small pile of burning masks in middle of the street (which was not intended to cause damage and in fact did not) does not “fires” make. And the assault on the reporter (which was wrong) had nothing to do with the protest. It was because of an internal communal affair.

    The real concern is NOT how many test positive for the virus, it’s the number hospitalized or dying which is thank God nowhere near the numbers we experienced in March and April. It was never about stopping the virus but about flattening the curve. The toll the lockdown has taken on the social, emotional, and economic well-being of the city is astronomical. Manhattan is a ghost town, our kids’ education is suffering, so many people have lost their livelihood. Lockdowns are not helpful. Face it, Corona is not going away any time soon. We need to learn to live with it. The current hysteria being fomented by the Mayor, the Governor, and the media doesn’t help the situation. But you’re not going to hear about it because it doesn’t fit the into the predetermined narrative. So much for unbiased reporting.

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