Police Routinely Violate Precautions That Limit Community Spread of COVID-19

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Thursday, June 4, was a hot, sunny afternoon in New York with multiple protests taking place throughout the city in response to the death of George Floyd and racist policing practices nationwide.

In a Manhattan park, I watched as a 60-something white man stood at the edge of a demonstration with a Black Lives Matter sign, wearing a mask and carefully observing social distancing protocols, and politely asked an un-masked police officer to step back a little bit to a safer distance.  The officer, along with two other un-masked officers, had been walking around the edge of the crowd and paused near the man; when he asked them to step back, they instead stepped closer, and another officer who heard the request walked past the man so closely that they almost touched. 

In fact, few of the officers I saw at the park that afternoon, or during any other demonstration during the…

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