Blacks, Hispanics make up most of NYC's coronavirus-related arrests

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 7:45 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 19:46:35-04

NEW YORK — Almost all New Yorkers arrested on COVID-19 related charges are black or Hispanic.

From March 16 through May 10, the NYPD made 125 arrests that they consider coronavirus related, but not social distancing related. Of those, 66.4 percent of individuals arrested are black and 24 percent are Hispanic.

"Many were responses to calls for service where there was a clear victim and police took necessary action," the NYPD said in a statement. "The crimes are characterized as COVID-19 related due to the circumstances of occurrence, remarks made by the arrestee at the time of the alleged crime or afterward, or statements made by a victim."

The arrests involve hate crimes, domestic violence, weapons possession and resisting arrests, police said. Some of those arrested were in fights after they skipped ahead in line while waiting to get into grocery stores. A bank robber was arrested after passing a note to a teller; it said "this is a bank robbery, I have COVID."

Charges included felony assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and numerous other felony and misdemeanor offenses.

The NYPD has come under fire for social distancing arrests. Data shows officers disproportionately arrest people of color.