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Disproportionate Coronavirus Enforcement Hints at Civil Rights Violations in New York City

| May 21, 2020 | Civil Rights

Several watchdog groups have suggested that the NYPD’s enforcement of coronavirus lockdown measures has been tinged (if not motivated) by racial disparity and perhaps even racial profiling. Now, new data shows that-intentionally or not-minorities such as the black and Hispanic communities in New York have suffered the most. Could this point to a significant outbreak of Civil Rights violations in New York City?

Enforcement of lockdown regulations has been spotty and inconsistent at best. Since the beginning of this whole mess, there have been 374 instances involving arrests or fines for people violating regulations placed by the state and the city itself in an attempt to keep people at home, keep them separated when in public, and keep them safe. That may seem like a relatively small number of violations for as long as this lockdown has gone on but when you dig a little deeper, several troubling racial disparities come to light.

Of those 374 violations, 80% (roughly 300) have been handed out to black or Hispanic individuals. Most telling perhaps is the arrests that occurred in Brooklyn over that period. A whopping 35 of the 40 people placed in custody for coronavirus violations were black. That’s nearly 90%.

While the mayor has specifically said that “we” (meaning the City of New York) must “do better” when enforcing these unprecedented regulations. However, the disparity is so shocking that some advocates have recommended that New York completely remove the NYPD from all enforcement efforts, suggesting that its known history of excessive force violations and hints of racial profiling are enough to make the organization unfit for this particular role at all.

If you have been the victim of excessive force during lockdown or feel that you have been unfairly (and illegally) targeted by any member of the NYPD, you could be entitled to compensation. To learn more about the legal options available to you, contact the experienced New York Civil Rights attorneys at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel today. Call 800-734-933 or 212-385-1122 for your confidential consultation.

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