Posted on May 8, 2020

Majority of New Yorkers Arrested for Social Distancing Violations Are Black, Public Advocate Says

Aliza Chasan and Anthony DiLorenzo, Pix11, May 7, 2020

The majority of New Yorkers arrested for social distancing violations in New York are black.

Data shows 68 percent of arrests for social distancing violations were of black New Yorkers, 24 percent Hispanic and 7 percent white, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

“The administration stalled to deliver this data, and now we know why,” he said. “This virus has disproportionately claimed thousands of black and brown bodies, and now, in response, it is black and brown bodies facing the kind of over-policing never seen in other communities.”

The exact breakdown isn’t available for each borough, but the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office released an analysis Thursday. Between March 17 and May 4, 40 people were arrested and 35 of those arrested are black. Four Hispanic individuals were arrested and one white person was arrested. DA Eric Gonzalez declined to prosecute all 40 cases.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the department intends to release detailed information on arrests.


The family of one person arrested on a social distancing violation in the Bronx called it the new stop and frisk, something Mayor Bill de Blasio refuted Thursday.

“I predicted someone would try to make this parallel and there is no parallel,” he said.

He said he’s spoken with a number of leaders of communities of color.