*The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the polar opposite of how cops treat white people not social distancing compared to Black folks.
Graphic footage showing a New York police officer tasing a Black man on the street for reportedly defying social distancing orders has gone viral.
The incident occurred Saturday evening in the East Village. According to New York Post, police say Shakiem Brunsom and Ashley Serrano refused to obey social distancing orders and resisted attempts by the cops to handcuff them.
When a small group of onlookers gathered during the altercation, a taser-wielding Officer Francisco Garcia became enraged and shouted at at them to: “Move the f*ck back right now!” Adding, “What you flexing for? Don’t flex!”
Newsone describes what happened next:
Garcia then sways his taser in the direction of onlookers and proceeds to grab one person from the crowd, identified by cops as 33-year-old Donni Wright. Garcia wrestles him to the ground, repeatedly punching him and slapping him on the head, as another cop eventually helps handcuffs him. The whole time, Garcia’s knee is pinning Wright’s head to the ground. Wright was hit with charges that included assaulting an officer, menacing and resisting arrest. The NYPD argues that Garcia suffered an unspecific injury in the brawl and felt threatened when Wright allegedly got into a fighting stance.
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This video shows an unarmed man being assaulted by a police officer. The man was merely an innocent bystander, who was checking on a young man being roughed up by the cops. The officer approaches him, starts firing his taser, and then assaults the man for no reason. This is terrorism.
Serrano, 22, and Brunsom, 31, were charged with resisting arrest, and Brunsom was hit with a charge for pot possession. Serrano is also facing a charge for criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly carrying a stun gun, the report states.
“It started out as a social distancing enforcement,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in a joint Sunday press briefing with Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am aware of the video that’s out there.”
Garcia has reportedly been placed on modified duty pending an investigation by Internal Affairs.
This is his West Village vs East Village on the same weekend.
I’ve been ashamed of my work for you for a very long time, but you need to resign. pic.twitter.com/SO2y3nWMUP
— rafael (@rafaelshimunov) May 3, 2020
Rode my bike for 30 miles from The #Bronx to #Queens, #Brooklyn, & #Manhattan, everyone was mostly being safe by practicing #SocialDistancing until I arrived at the the Christopher St Pier…
This is APPALLING.
It’s going to be warmer tomorrow. Police enforce social distancing? pic.twitter.com/0qdw09z5Uk
— Welcome2theBronx™ (@Welcome2theBX) May 3, 2020
Both pictures are from today. One is from the park in Harlem, the other is from the park in West Village. Guess which neighborhood has police enforcing social distancing? pic.twitter.com/25vEKhVLPo
— Achmat X (@AchmatX) May 2, 2020
Meanwhile, several photos and videos on social media clearly show that white park-goers in NYC who are defying social distancing orders and not experiencing the same violence that went down in the East Village incident.
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams has called for the release of demographic data showing the racial makeup of those arrested/cited for violating social distancing guidelines.