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Social distancing on a sunny Saturday in NYC

Posted at 9:20 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 22:13:15-04

WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan — It was a kinder, gentler NYPD on the West Village piers tonight enforcing social distancing rules just by their quiet presence, there to remind people to keep six feet apart or wear masks.

“They’re handing out masks,” said John Herbert, a Chelsea resident. “Not doing much more than that.

Another person on the piers, Denny Johnson felt everyone was handling the pandemic rules poorly.

“New York is the hot spot and I don’t think people are taking it seriously enough,” he added.

Some commented that the police in other neighborhoods acted quite differently, mentioning seemingly violent social distancing takedowns in East New York, in the subway and on the Lower East Side, where a police officer used a taser while on social distancing patrol.

“If you’re in a good neighborhood, police give out masks. It’s cool,” said Kevin Leggett of Crown Heights. “If you’re in a bad neighborhood, police harass you, slam you down and do a lot of things,” he added.

In Central Park, an equally quiet social distancing day where police limited the number of people allowed on sheep meadow at any one time.

In Domino Park in Williamsburg, circles were drawn in the grassy areas to remind people what six feet apart looks like.

And in Flushing, Mayor de Blasio explained to these social distancing ambassadors and parks department employees how important their job is to get people to wear masks.