Mayor Bill De Blasio has made the decision to change tactics regarding the city’s “face mask rule” allowing the New York Police Department to relax arresting restrictions and reset its enforcement approach

Earlier in the week, De Blasio responded to a video on Twitter that shows a group of NYPD officers arresting a black mother and forcing her face to the ground of a dirty subway for not properly donning the mask she seemed to be wearing:

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After De Blasio made his statement, Dermot Shea, NY Police Commissioner reportedly released an email to his department, reiterating the orders not to make arrests for face-covering infractions and small group gatherings.

[NBC News] The decision comes after criticism of the NYPD this week over a video showing officers handcuffing and pinning down a 22-year old mother who was not wearing a mask properly. The police department has also come under scrutiny over its enforcement of social-distancing policies resulting in a disproportionate number of summonses to people of color.

“Absent a serious danger to the public, NYPD will not take enforcement action for failing to wear face mask covering,” the mayor said. “NYPD will continue to enforce the ban on non-essential gatherings, prioritizing dispersing groups of six-plus adults”

An NYPD spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News that the change in enforcement on masks is “essential.”

“In this unprecedented pandemic, trust and collaboration is more critical than ever as we all work together to ensure public safety,” the statement said.

Why not just give people summonses instead of arresting them? That seems a lot safer for everyone in terms of exposure in the arrest and in/to jailed populations anyway.

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It’s really sad and frightening when a Mayor admits they have no control over the literal army that is legally under their command. It really dispels the illusion that this is a democracy and exposes this junta for what it is, military and security services with a PR team.

NYC may not be enforcing masks, but that doesn’t mean people can’t decide that it’s the best thing to do. It’s not illegal to have a fling without a condom – but you use one anyway if you care about the prevention of disease spread. Condoms weren’t perfect but proved to be really useful in preventing the spread of HIV.

At some point, we have to leave it to personal responsibility. We can’t hold people’s hands for them to make good decisions forever.

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