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Mayor De Blasio Says Of Racial Disparity In NYPD's Social Distancing Enforcement: 'We Will Fix It'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing tough questions because NYPD records show what community leaders have been charging for weeks -- racial disparity in social distancing enforcement. Communities of color have been bearing the brunt of police actions.

It's a story CBS2 first told you about on Thursday night.

The videos of police aggressively arresting members of the minority community on social distancing violations have angered many. That anger boiled over Friday with the disclosure by CBS2 that the NYPD's own records show that while only a small percentage of social distancing contacts result in arrest and summonses, the people who get the tickets and hauled into court are largely black and Hispanic, Marcia Kramer reported.

"When I sit here and think about it, it's so angering, especially from an administration that was brought in saying they would do things differently," Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

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When it comes to social distancing, the NYPD reported about 1 million contacts between March 16 and May 5. That led to 374 summonses, and 120 arrests. Breaking down the arrests by race, nearly 68% were black, 24% were Hispanic, and nearly 7% percent were white. Of the summonses, 193 were black, 111 were Hispanic, 51 were white, and 14 were Asian.

"To the extent that you have disparate policing to the point where 92% of them are black and brown, it's disgusting," Williams said.


Mayor de Blasio, who came into office to end stop and frisk and policing based on race, defended the NYPD.

"The numbers of arrests and summonses are extraordinarily low," he said. "There's been a huge amount of restraint by the NYPD."

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But when confronted with the numbers, the mayor did admit, "When I saw those numbers, I found them to be an indicator that something is wrong we need to fix it and we will fix it."

The mayor said there would be more training and better protocols, but gave few details. The public advocate said community leaders should be brought into the picture to help educate people about the need to wear masks and keep their distance, Kramer reported.

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