Protests will not be permitted in COVID-19 ‘red zones’ under NYPD order

Protests and demonstrations like the anti-lockdown ones that have erupted in Brooklyn will not be permitted in designated coronavirus red zones under new NYPD directives — which drew immediate outrage and accusations that Orthodox Jews were being singled out.

The orders were issued Thursday in a “Finest Message” internal memo that was sent out to all police commands following two previous nights of unrest in the neighborhood over the state-ordered closure of schools, non-essential businesses and occupancy limits for houses of worship in COVID-19 hot spot areas in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Brooklyn’s “red” zone includes Gravesend, Midwood and Borough Park where large Orthodox Jewish communities reside.

The NYPD memo says, “If MOS [member of service] observe a non-essential gathering in violation of these numerical restrictions, in a private or public place, the group should be ordered to disperse.”

“Protests, demonstrations, and other first amendment activity are also subject to these gathering restrictions in the designated zones,” the memo states.

It added that “if individuals refuse to comply,” a summons may be issued for disorderly conduct, disobeying a lawful order to disperse or for disobeying Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “executive order banning gatherings.”

“Additionally,” the memo says, “MOS have the discretion to take enforcement if participants engage in other unlawful behavior such as trespass and obstructing governmental administration.”

The memo explains, “A gathering is defined as the coming together of 6 or more people who do not live in the same household, all of whom are 14 years of age or older.”

Under an order this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the new set of coronavirus restrictions in Brooklyn and Queens were divided into three color-coded zones — red, being the highest-risk, orange and yellow.

In red zones, mass gatherings are prohibited, while 10 people maximum are allowed in orange and 25 people in yellow.

A City Hall spokesman confirmed to The Post that protests will not be permitted in the COVID-19 hot zones.

Former City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), who now runs the Jewish charity, Met Council, questioned the directive in a tweet Friday.

“Anyone out there know if NYC has ever banned protests before? This seems like a big deal with long-lasting impacts well after we all move on from covid in chasidic communities,” Greenfield said.

Masses from the Orthodox Jewish community — many not wearing face masks –protested in Borough Park Tuesday and Wednesday and the NYPD did not make a single arrest or summons despite alleged assaults.

De Blasio, speaking during his weekly appearance on WNYC radio Friday, said what unfolded in the area Thursday night was “definitely a different situation.”


View Slideshow

Source: Read Full Article