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For many, wearing face masks in the public may be the indelible takeaway from the great 2020 coronavirus pandemic — for others, it will be the ultimate push back by so many Americans who’ve had a full taste of how it feels to lose their civil liberties.
With America slowly reopening, and some areas still in full lockdown mode, such as New York City, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, there was a protest held outside of City Hall that resulted in nine people being arrested, the New York Post reported.
— informed&savvy (@Cdmakeupartist1) May 10, 2020
The protesters were pushing for New York to reopen and were arrested Saturday for not obeying social distancing guidelines, according to the Post.
Those arrested were taken away in an NYPD vehicle and issued summonses, before being released, an NYPD spokesman told the newspaper.
A video posted by Mike Gee, who said in a tweet he was one of those arrested, shows several people being arrested, including a woman identified as a single mother.
In the background, a public address announcement can be heard ordering people to disperse, informing them that the gathering is unlawful.
“If you fail to disperse immediately, you are subject to arrest,” the voice declares.
“This is the second day she’s been arrested folks, for exercising her constitutional rights,” the person recording stated. “A single mom’s being arrested by the NYPD — shame on the NYPD.”
He tells the arresting officers they are acting like “Nazis.”
“This reminds me of Nazi Germany,” he added. “This reminds me exactly of what my grandma died in Nazi Germany. This is it. Look at it America, freedom’s all an illusion ladies and gentlemen.”
A woman identified as the mother of the woman being arrested appears on the video to say she is “proud” of her daughter.
Gee is seen below being “unlawfully” arrested, according to a tweet he shared.
It’s been 24 hours since I emailed AG Barr on unlawfully being arrested by the #NYPD for exercising my constitutional rights still not a word.@TheJusticeDept #AskAGBarr @realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @PamelaGeller pic.twitter.com/6lE3mzvFjc
— Mike Gee (@MikeyGee2020) May 11, 2020
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo just extended the state’s stay-at-home lockdown up until at least June 7.
To get a feel for the atmosphere in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has fielded a vast team of non-police workers to persuade people to comply with social distancing policy.
The number of “social distancing ambassadors” deployed was at 1,000, but will grow by next weekend to around 2,300 to meet racial disparity complaints, the Associated Press reported.
“More and more, the emphasis will be on a communicative, encouraging approach,” de Blasio said, adding that enforcement through ticketing “will still be there when needed.”
It’s not clear how many people have been arrested, but NYPD data released on Friday showed 374 summonses were issued through May 5 for violating distancing orders — 52% were given to black people and 30% to Hispanic people.
According to Slate.com, there have been 40 arrests in Brooklyn stemming from social distancing violations from March 17 through May 4.
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