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LAS Condemns NYPD for Violent Social Distancing Related Arrests

The Legal Aid Society condemned the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for conducting multiple violent social distancing-related arrests yesterday in the East Village, reports the Associated Press.

Two videos that recently surfaced first show officers – some without masks – approach a couple and, then, within seconds, escalate the situation by slamming one of the individuals, a young man, against a metal grate and arresting him. Officers then immediately threw the other individual – a young woman – to the ground and eventually arrested her. It is unclear what conversation, if any, the officers tried to hold with these individuals before using force and rushing to detain them.

The second video captures an officer, hurling a slew of expletives, aggressively approach another individual, apparently fire his taser, and then, with no apparent provocation, tackle and punch the individual multiple times, inflicting clear harm.

One of the believed officers involved – Francisco Garcia – has been sued seven times for misconduct, and six of those lawsuits have been settled for a combined $182,500, according to CAPstat.

“This certainly isn’t the first time and this isn’t even the first time in this pandemic that we’ve seen evidence of discriminatory policing by the NYPD,” said Jennvine Wong, a staff attorney with the Cop Accountability Project at The Legal Aid Society.