The outcry is coming after several videos showing people of color in violent confrontations with police.
CBS2 has learned that according to NYPD records, the majority of those who have been ticketed and sent to court over social distancing are black and Hispanic.
On Wednesday, Shea said it's not about race.
"No one is talking about the disparity of the last 10 homicide victims in New York City," he said. "We have had death threats on police officers in New York City and their families over 10-second videos where the police officers are dealing with individuals that quite frankly fight not with the police department, they fight with everyone."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says something needs to change.
"I would hope they don't get on the defense, but get on the offense to stop an over-aggressive behavior by some police officers," he said. "The goal of saving a life can't come in a package of destroying a life."
Adams, a former NYPD captain, added that any threats to the police are unacceptable.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also defended the NYPD when it comes to social distancing.
"The NYPD has really very rarely had to enforce. When you really look at the facts on summonses, fewer than 10 a day for the whole city. So I'm sorry that people keep raising the question, and I keep saying you've got to look at it in perspective. It's fewer than 10 a day for the whole city during this crisis. That is light touch, to say the least. But it's very important for people to understand, if they don't observe these rules, a summons is something we will use when needed," he said. "The restraint has been there, and it will continue to be there."
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