NEW YORK - Videos of social distancing arrests are stirring controversy across the city.
In one video that police say was taken Sunday night just after 10 p.m., a group was seen on a stoop in East New York, not too far from the 75th Precinct, allegedly failing to follow social distancing protocols.
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A man approaches officers, and police say he struck one of them. A short time later, some officers have him on the ground.
Another video surfaced of a social distance arrest in the East Village, also from over the weekend, outraging New Yorkers. That incident led to the officer being placed on modified duty.
The mayor referenced the incidents in his daily briefing Wednesday, saying, "We have retrained our entire police force to de-escalate, to work with neighborhood policing. It's a two-way street. Respect goes both ways and that's how we create a better city for everyone.”
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries posted video of Sunday’s incident to Twitter, condemning police, adding that specific communities are targeted during the pandemic.
"There is reason to believe police are conducting hyper-aggressive policing and others are being treated with kid gloves, that can't happen," Jeffries said, adding that he wants there to be one standard for everyone.
"My hope is the members of the congressional delegation meet with Police Commissioner Shea sooner rather than later so we can come to an agreement as to how the New York Police Department can affectively police communities of color, in a manner that gives light to the principle of courtesy professionalism and respect."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is following that same mentality.
"The pictures and videos we saw over the weekend clearly tells us that how it is enforced in one part of the city is enforced differently in other parts of the city," he said.
Adams handed out masks in Bushwick Tuesday to help protect New Yorkers and to also offer solutions to the problems of social distancing arrests.
"In my communication with the mayor, I asked him can he pull back the police, unless it is an egregious situation," Adams said.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says that use of force in a police encounter is not synonymous with abuse of authority, but at times it is necessary.
"The officer's use of force was in the act of gaining compliance from a subject who was resisting arrest. As with every incident, it will be reviewed," Shea said.
The borough president said police need to approach social distancing calls with a more communicative and educational approach, as opposed to what he says has become a modified version stop and frisk.
The Brooklyn district attorney's office tells NY1 the man arrested will not be prosecuted.