“Weaponized and Racialized”: Police Departments Use COVID-19 to Target Black & Brown Communi ties

Democracy Now!

Published on May 11, 2020

Viral images have shone a spotlight on uneven policing. Some show police officers distributing masks to White residents in crowded New York City parks — and apparently arresting no one. Meanwhile, videos have emerged of violent crackdowns on social distancing measures in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. We continue our look at how Black and Brown communities are being disproportionately targeted and policed in New York City’s enforcement measures during the pandemic, and also discuss how officers have ordered protesters to disband, citing executive orders from the mayor and the governor that ban “any non-essential gathering of individuals of any size for any reason.” We speak with author and activist Jill Nelson, who was recently arrested when she used chalk to write “Trump = Plague” on an abandoned building, and with Norman Siegel, civil rights lawyer for Nelson and former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

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