The New York Police Department has been raising even more eyebrows than usual with their COVID-19 search and seizure procedures and their crackdown on social distancing.
Recently, the NYPD got a lot of flack on Twitter for posting a video about busting a turnstyle-hopper with a small amount of cannabis. The officers were called out for not wearing their masks properly or practicing social distancing while apprehending their suspects.
“Did they maintain 6 feet separation when “grabbing” the guy or did they put a bunch of lives at risk for the sake of some weed,” prolific writer Anna Fitzpatrick asked on Twitter.
Others wanted to take the officers to task for spending time, and tax dollars, going after someone who was simply going to be fined, since cannabis has been decriminalized in New York.
More Questionable Arrests in NYC
In other news, an arrest caught on video in the East Village shows people violently being arrested for talking because they were allegedly violating social distancing rules and allegedly had a visible bag of cannabis.
The video reveals Officer Francisco Garcia with his taser out, striking a man and taking him down to the ground, then punching him as he is being handcuffed. The n-word was also used as a slur during the altercation. This behavior is concerning to many New York residents, as racial violence from the police is still a problem even following the decriminalization of cannabis, and COVID-19 already has tensions high throughout the city.
It’s clear that compassion is needed from law enforcement now more than ever, and violating social distancing orders themselves, or arresting others for doing so, is not the way to win back the confidence of the people. New York City residents reportedly would like to see officers release their body cam footage and stop persecuting those with low-level cannabis offenses or those who are simply speaking with friends and neighbors.