‘We’re not going to sideline the NYPD’: Bill de Blasio refuses to bow to pressure to stop police using force to impose social distancing after videos show violent arrests of black people and just one of 40 people arrested is white

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio stood by the NYPD and refused to 'sideline' officers for using force, in comments made during a statement yesterday. 
Mayor de Blasio added that he would not be 'making decisions based on a very few interactions that were handled poorly or went bad', after videos emerged showing officers punching African-American men.  
Viral online clips spread outrage at the NYPD's use of force to impose the state's social distancing measures in black neighborhoods.
Of 40 arrests in Brooklyn since lockdown began only one detainee was white, according to a New York Times exposé.
Some 35 of those arrested between March 17 and May 4 were black and four were Hispanic. All cases have since been dropped.   
A video shows an officer punching a man in the face
The attack continued as the man was pinned down by officers
As videos emerge showing police officers throwing punches at black men, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not be 'making decisions based on a very few interactions that were handled poorly'
NYPD social distancing patrol turns violent in shocking clip
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'I'm making my decisions based on the millions of interactions that are going right,' Mayor de Blasio added on Thursday.  
But in a tweet today, Mayor de Blasio admitted the force can do better. 
He wrote: 'The disparity in numbers does not reflect our values. We have to do better and we will.'
Police watchdogs say the conduct shown in the videos suggests officers are using social distancing during the pandemic as a pretext to harass people of color.
The methods have been compared to 'stop and frisk', when officers stop people on the street and search them for weapons.

The searches stopped in 2013 when a federal judge in Manhattan ruled they amounted to a 'policy of indirect racial profiling' of black and Latino people. 
Mayor de Blasio refuted any comparison between enforcing social distancing measures and what he described as 'systematic, oppressive and unconstitutional' stop and frisk policies.
In his statement on Thursday he said: 'What happened with stop and frisk was a systematic, oppressive, unconstitutional strategy that created a new problem much bigger than anything it purported to solve,' he said. 
A group of officers pin down Adegoke Atunbi in the video. He later described feeling terrified because he didn't know if he was going to die
A group of officers pin down Adegoke Atunbi in the video. He later described feeling terrified because he didn't know if he was going to die
Responding to a New York Times article that revealed the number of arrests over the social distancing period, Mayor de Blasio said the force would do better
Responding to a New York Times article that revealed the number of arrests over the social distancing period, Mayor de Blasio said the force would do better
'This is the farthest thing from that. This is addressing a pandemic. This is addressing the fact that lives are in danger all the time. By definition, our police department needs to be a part of that because safety is what they do.'  
In New York City 68 percent of those arrested for violating social distancing rules are black, 24 per cent are Hispanic and just seven per cent are white, deputy police commissioner, Richard Esposito, revealed on Thursday night. 
De Blasio responded in a tweet: 'Saving lives in this pandemic is job one. The NYPD uses summonses and arrests to do it. Most people practice social distancing, with only hundreds of summonses issued over six weeks.'  
One newly surfaced video of social distancing enforcement gone wrong in New York City showed a police officer running at a black man and throwing him to the ground. 
Another clip posted online on Saturday showed an officer pulling a stun gun on a man before violently pinning him down. 
The videos stand in sharp contrast to those tweeted by the NYPD showing friendly officers handing out face masks and gently reminding people to stay six feet (two meters) apart.
Mayor De Blasio assigned 1,000 officers to social distancing patrols over the weekend as temperatures reached the high 70s
Mayor De Blasio assigned 1,000 officers to social distancing patrols over the weekend as temperatures reached the high 70s

Mr Atunbi, pictured as he was pinned down by police, was cited for disorderly conduct. He said six or seven officers held him
Mr Atunbi, pictured as he was pinned down by police, was cited for disorderly conduct. He said six or seven officers held him 
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's office called the incidents in the more aggressive videos 'disturbing'.
He said his office is reviewing them to determine if disciplinary recommendations or criminal charges for the officers are warranted.
Joo-Hyun Kang, the director of Communities United for Police Reform, said it's time for Mayor de Blasio to 'step in and remove the NYPD immediately from all social distancing enforcement.'
One video showed an officer knocking a 32-year-old man to the ground with his arm Monday night in Brooklyn after police say he took a 'fighting stance' as officers wrestled his stepbrother against a squad car. 
The videos stand in sharp contrast to photos and video tweeted by the NYPD showing friendly officers handing out face masks
The videos stand in sharp contrast to photos and video tweeted by the NYPD showing friendly officers handing out face masks
NYPD's twitter feed featured smiling photos of park-goers as police officers hand them protective masks
NYPD's twitter feed featured smiling photos of park-goers as police officers hand them protective masks 

Police say the men were part of a group that failed to disperse when told to comply with social distancing rules.
Another video, recorded Saturday, showed an officer throwing Adegoke Atunbi, 20, to the ground. 
He was arrested at Brooklyn's Brower Park moments after shouting insults as officers hauled his friend away in handcuffs. Police said both men were gang members with a history of arrests. 
'I thought police were meant to de-escalate a situation, not escalate it,' said Mr Atunbi, who was cited for disorderly conduct. 'It's a scary thing to be put on the ground. 
'You have six-seven people on top of you. You have no way to defend yourself, thinking you might die. It does something to your mind.'
Some officers in the videos weren't wearing protective masks.
On Saturday around 5pm NYPD plainclothes officers broke up a group of people violating social distancing orders in Manhattan's East Village. The outrage and protest of bystanders led to the arrest of 33-year-old Donni Wright
On Saturday around 5pm NYPD plainclothes officers broke up a group of people violating social distancing orders in Manhattan's East Village. The outrage and protest of bystanders led to the arrest of 33-year-old Donni Wright
In that social distancing arrest officers were seen bringing a man to the ground and arresting him
In that social distancing arrest officers were seen bringing a man to the ground and arresting him
Officer Francisco Garcia (above) threatened the crowd with a stun gun and shouted 'Get back. Get the f**k back'
Officer Francisco Garcia (above) threatened the crowd with a stun gun and shouted 'Get back. Get the f**k back' 
Last week, officers twice interrupted crowded funerals in Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community to crack down on social distancing violators. Pictured, April 28
Last week, officers twice interrupted crowded funerals in Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community to crack down on social distancing violators. Pictured, April 28
Donni Wright, 33, was a part of that crowd and shouted 'He didn't even do nothing' in shock over the cops' earlier arrest, leading Garcia to punch him and knock him to the ground
Garcia hit Wright several times and dragged him onto the sidewalk and distressed onlookers screamed for him to stop
Donni Wright, 33, was a part of that crowd and shouted 'he didn't even do nothing' in shock over the cops' earlier arrest, leading Garcia to punch him and knock him to the ground
Garcia was seen putting his knees on Wright's head and neck during the brutal arrest. Wright was arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest but the charges have been deferred pending further investigation
Garcia was seen putting his knees on Wright's head and neck during the brutal arrest. Wright was arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest but the charges have been deferred pending further investigation
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the incidents should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that 'a punch should not be assumed to be excessive force.' 
Officers are trained to punch someone when warranted as part of an escalating progression of force, he said.
The police department's social distancing patrols have exacerbated sometimes tense relations between officers and the city's various minority communities.
Officers have been warned not to 'unleash a new era of overly aggressive policing' by Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat whose district is predominantly African-American.  
Police officers made at least 120 arrests and issued nearly 500 summonses for social-distancing violations between March 16 and May 5, according to data provided by the police to the New York Times.  
In an exposé the newspaper revealed the shocking number of black people being arrested compared to white. 
The incident is being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and Garcia has been placed on modified duty
The incident is being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs Bureau and Garcia has been placed on modified duty
Last month in Carnarsi, a black middle-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, officers issued nearly 60 summonses and arrested two people on gun charges at a birthday party in a barbershop, the newspaper reported. 
But two days later, on April 20, no arrests were made at a marijuana party in Chelsea, a wealthy neighborhood in Manhattan, despite a duffel bag full of the drug being found.     
Last week, officers twice interrupted crowded funerals in Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community to crack down on social distancing violators. De Blasio stoked divisions further with a series of tweets singling out Jews for ignoring a ban on large gatherings.  
On Saturday, officer Francisco Garcia was caught on video slapping and punching a black man, 33-year-old Donni Wright, and dragging him to a sidewalk after leveling him in a crosswalk near a Manhattan public housing complex. 
Mr de Blasio condemned the incident saying: 'Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it. The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun'
Mr de Blasio condemned the incident saying: 'Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it. The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun'
Garcia was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation. 
On Sunday, police issued at least one social distancing summons at a small protest organized by an LGBT group outside a Manhattan hospital, pitting free speech and public health concerns. De Blasio and Shea defended the response, arguing people had no right to protest during a pandemic.
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said stay-at-home and other orders Major de Blasio issued in response to the crisis don't give police 'unfettered — and unconstitutional — discretion to ban all protest activity.'
'The right to protest is a bedrock of our nation's principles, and it is never more important than in times of crisis,' Lieberman said. 'The government may not needlessly restrict protest activity that is in compliance with important public health guidelines.'
MailOnline has approached the NYPD for comment.  
Under the instructions of Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD officers set out on foot, bicycles and in cars to break up crowds and remind those enjoying the weather of public health restrictions requiring they keep 6 feet away from others
Under the instructions of Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD officers set out on foot, bicycles and in cars to break up crowds and remind those enjoying the weather of public health restrictions requiring they keep 6 feet away from others
Social distancing enforcement was ramped up in New York this week as temperatures rose as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Under the instructions of Mayor de Blasio, a thousand NYPD officers set out on foot, bicycles and in cars to break up crowds and remind those enjoying the weather of public health restrictions requiring they keep six feet away from others. 
Two of the city's largest public gardens, Central Park and Prospect Park, were filled with sunbathers basking in the 70 degree sunshine across the weekend, many of them in groups.   
Mayor de Blasio said in parks alone on May 2, officers were forced to issue 43 summonses to those ignoring social distancing protocol. New Yorkers can be fined up to $1000 for violating the orders.
An additional eight summonses were issued to lockdown rebels outside of the parks, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, noting the 'majority' of the 51 issued in total were for a failure to maintain a social distance.
Three arrests were made citywide, Shea said, though the circumstances of each was not disclosed. The NYPD has made 60 arrests and issued 343 summonses related to social distancing since shelter-in-place instructions were implemented on March 16.
As of Wednesday there were 14,162 confirmed coronavirus deaths in New York and 174,709 cases of the disease.
‘We’re not going to sideline the NYPD’: Bill de Blasio refuses to bow to pressure to stop police using force to impose social distancing after videos show violent arrests of black people and just one of 40 people arrested is white ‘We’re not going to sideline the NYPD’: Bill de Blasio refuses to bow to pressure to stop police using force to impose social distancing after videos show violent arrests of black people and just one of 40 people arrested is white Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:15 Rating: 5

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