The New York Times Recoils at the Predictable Consequences of the Mandatory COVID-19 Precautions It Supports
“Of the 125 people arrested over offenses that law enforcement officials described as related to the coronavirus pandemic, 113 were black or Hispanic. Of the 374 summonses from March 16 to May 5, a vast majority—300—were given to black and Hispanic New Yorkers.”
So begins a New York Times editorial that recoils at the predictable consequences of a policy that The New York Times supports. When the government orders people, under the threat of hefty fines, to stop working, stay home except for approved purposes, wear face masks in public, avoid “non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason,” and keep their distance from each other, it charges police with enforcing those edicts. The resulting encounters may lead to criminal charges such as disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, and obstructing governmental administration. Given the long record of racially skewed law enforcement by the New York Police Department (NYPD), it is not at all surprising that the people who bear the brunt of mandatory social distancing are overwhelmingly black and Latino.
The Times does not like that result:
Videos of some of the arrests are hard to watch. In one posted to Facebook last week, a group of some six police officers are seen tackling a black woman in a subway station as her young child looks on. “She’s got a baby with her!” a bystander shouts. Police officials told The Daily News the woman had refused to comply when officers directed her to put the mask she was wearing over her nose and mouth.
Contrast that with photographs across social media showing crowds of sun-seekers packed into parks in wealthy, whiter areas of the city, lounging undisturbed as police officers hand out masks….
Without a significant course correction, the [police] department’s role in the pandemic may look more and more like stop-and-frisk, the policing tactic that led to the harassment of hundreds