NY cops chase hearse as they disperse Jewish funeral in Brooklyn and arrest a teen after mayor Bill de Blasio was branded a hypocrite for ordering crackdown to stop coronavirus spreading
- Chaos broke at the Orthodox Jewish funeral of Rabbi Cheskel Wagshel in Borough Park Thursday
- Cops arrested a boy, 17, when he allegedly crossed police tape and pushed a police officer
- Footage showed officers chasing after a hearse while screams and shouts could be heard from the crowds
- The incident came two days after Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a ‘zero tolerance’ crack-down on gatherings
- De Blasio personally traveled to break up a funeral in Williamsburg Tuesday and launched a tirade on Twitter
- The mayor was forced to apologize Wednesday after he faced a backlash for singling out Jews
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
NYPD cops arrested a teenage boy and were seen sprinting after a hearse at an Orthodox Jewish funeral in Brooklyn Thursday, two days after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a ‘zero tolerance’ crack-down on gatherings.
The 17-year-old was pictured being pinned to the side of a vehicle by a police officer after chaos broke out between law enforcement and mourners at the funeral of Rabbi Cheskel Wagshel in Borough Park.
Shocking footage also showed officers chasing after a hearse as they tried to disperse the crowds of people ignoring social distancing.
Screams and shouts can be heard in the videos, posted on social media, as officials faced came under renewed criticism for singling out Jews.
Shocking footage showed officers chasing after a hearse in Brooklyn as they tried to disperse crowds of mourners Thursday (left). NYPD cops arrested a teenage boy at the Orthodox Jewish funeral in Brooklyn Thursday. The 17-year-old was pictured being pinned to the side of a vehicle by a police officer (right)
Chaos broke out between law enforcement and mourners at the Orthodox Jewish funeral of Rabbi Cheskel Wagshel in Borough Park
De Blasio was forced to apologize this week after he personally traveled to break up a funeral in Williamsburg Tuesday and launched a tirade on Twitter targeting Jews.
Tensions mounted further in the streets of the Big Apple Thursday when officers arrived at the funeral at about 4pm.
Around 100 mourners ignored social distancing rules to gather outside the home of the rabbi, Daily News reported.
The rabbi’s teenage grandson crossed a police line and pushed an officer, the NYPD told Daily News.
‘The cops stopped the grandson of the rabbi. That’s when the chaos erupted. The screaming went up,’ said a family friend.
The teen, who has not been named, was charged with disorderly conduct and given a desk appearance ticket.
NYPD cops arrested a teenage boy and were seen sprinting after a hearse at the funeral, two days after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a ‘zero tolerance’ crack-down on the gatherings
Officers tried to disperse the crowds of people ignoring social distancing – many of whom were not wearing masks
NYPD officers taped off parts of the area to try to break up the crowd of around 100 mourners who gathered outside the home of the rabbi
The family friend added that mourners had been following social distancing up until the incident.
Other witnesses told The Gothamist they saw police handcuff the boy and threaten other mourners with summons for not complying with social distancing and not wearing masks.
Albert Chattah, a Borough Park shop owner, said police had been hostile towards mourners.
‘It’s a funeral, people need to be able to give respect. They have to obey the law, but [police] are aggressive,’ he told The Gothamist.
Footage from the chaotic scene shows officers chasing after a van believed to be carrying the rabbi’s body.
Several NYPD officers are seen running down the road after the vehicle while shouting is heard.
Tensions mounted further in the streets of the Big Apple Thursday when officers arrived at the funeral at about 4pm
A family friend said mourners had been following social distancing up until the incident where the boy was arrested
Other witnesses told The Gothamist they saw police handcuff the boy and threaten other mourners with summons for not complying with social distancing and not wearing masks
The incident sparked renewed anger at de Blasio with State Senator Simcha Felder accusing him on Twitter of ‘terrorizing people by sending in armies of cops during such stressful times.’
This comes after de Blasio was forced to apologize Wednesday for singling out Jews for attending a funeral in Williamsburg.
The mayor on Tuesday said he had instructed police to arrest large groups of mourners in a new ‘zero tolerance’ approach after personally traveling to break up the Hasidic funeral of Rabbi Chaim Maertz.
The incident sparked renewed anger at de Blasio with State Senator Simcha Felder accusing him on Twitter of ‘terrorizing people by sending in armies of cops during such stressful times’
A police officer and a mourner both wearing masks are pictured outside the funeral Thursday afternoon
The rabbi’s teenage grandson allegedly crossed a police line and pushed an officer, the NYPD told Daily News
‘It’s a funeral, people need to be able to give respect. They have to obey the law, but [police] are aggressive,’ a local told The Gothamist
Masses of people are seen crowding onto a balcony in Brooklyn overlooking the funeral
His actions and words sparked a furious backlash, with critics pointing out he travels 11 miles from his Manhattan home to go for a walk in Prospect Park and that crowds had gathered the same day to watch a military flyover but were not treated the same by officials.
De Blasio gave a half-hearted apology Wednesday where he said sorry if what he said was ‘hurtful’ but insisted he had ‘no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to deal with it very, very aggressively’.
‘If in my passion and in my emotion, I said something that in any way was hurtful, I’m sorry about that,’ he said Wednesday.
‘That was not my intention. But I also want to be clear: I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to deal with it very, very aggressively.’
The police response has triggered a renewed criticism for de Blasio after he was forced to apologize this week after he personally traveled to break up a funeral Tuesday
The mayor came under fire when he launched a tirade on Twitter targeting Hasidic Jews
Police try to control the crowds who were flouting New York state’s executive order to ban non-essential gatherings
The mayor reinforced that future incidents of large gatherings – which violate the state’s executive order on non-essential gatherings – would be met with a heavy hand.
‘The next gathering will be met with summonses and arrests, period. If you have a large gathering – hundreds of people, thousands of people – we’re not even going to have a warning,’ he said.
The mayor added: ‘For decades I’ve made it my business to stand up for the Jewish community, and people know that. Won’t tolerate anti-Semitism, won’t allow it to grow in the city.
‘My message was to all communities, and that was written in black and white.
The arrest of the 17-year-old boy is the only confirmed arrest from Thursday’s funeral
Mourners take out their phones to film the incident Thursday
At least 2,300 people have tested positive for the virus in Borough Park, according to city data
City data shows the zip code has the sixth highest number of coronavirus cases in the city
The NYPD was told to adopt a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to mass gatherings on Tuesday by Mayor de Blasio
‘But it was also to be clear that what I saw I had not seen anywhere else, and I was trying to be honest about the fact that this is a problem that people have to come to grips with and deal with, or else people in the community will die.’
He added: ‘We’re here to protect human beings and people were put in danger last night. Members of the Jewish community were putting each other in danger. They were putting our police officers in danger.’
De Blasio had personally traveled across the city to shut down Tuesday’s funeral along with New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea after more than 2,500 people gathered for the funeral of prominent Rabbi Chaim Mertz who died from coronavirus.
Community leaders had coordinated with authorities in an attempt to control the group of mourners after the Rabbi’s death was announced that day.
But images surfaced showing hundred of people packed into sidewalks, flouting social distancing rules and many not wearing masks.
Chaos broke out between law enforcement and mourners at the Orthodox Jewish funeral of Rabbi Cheskel Wagshel in Borough Park Thursday
Shea confirmed 12 summons were issued for social distancing and refusal to disperse.
The mayor then launched a Twitter rant and threatened mourners with arrest.
‘Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,’ he tweeted Tuesday.
‘When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.
‘My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio was forced to apologize at his daily briefing Wednesday after he singled out Jews
De Blasio pictured Tuesday after he traveled to personally shut down a Orthodox Jewish funeral in Williamsburg when images surfaced on social media of massive crowds gathered for a rabbi who died from coronavirus
Williamsburg Tuesday: De Blasio showed up at the Orthodox Jewish funeral and threatened mourners with arrest for ignoring social distancing rules
Hundreds of people gathered in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a massive funeral Tuesday evening
‘This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.’
De Blasio immediately faced a backlash from community leaders.
The Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted: ‘Hey @NYCMayor, there are 1mil+ Jewish people in #NYC.
‘The few who don’t social distance should be called out — but generalizing against the whole population is outrageous especially when so many are scapegoating Jews. This erodes the very unity our city needs now more than ever.’
Shocking photos revealed hundreds of people gathered in the streets to pay their respects to Rabbi Chaim Mertz
Many people were not wearing face masks at the funeral Tuesday night in Brooklyn
De Blasio faced a backlash, with critics pointing out he travels 11 miles from his Manhattan home to go for a walk in Prospect Park
Councilman Kalman Yeger added: ‘Mr. Mayor, your words are unacceptable. To condemn our entire community over one group of people is something you would not do to any other ethnic group, and I know you long enough to know that you know this.’
‘Only bigots have a problem when a few 100 Hasidim do what thousands of people in the same city have done the same day (not social distance).’ the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council tweeted.
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council also Tweeted anger at the mayor’s response.
De Blasio slammed the Jewish community in a Twitter rant Tuesday night after he had broken up the gathering with the NYPD
‘People failed to social distance at a funeral the same day that thousands of New Yorkers failed to distance for 45 minutes to watch a flyover,’ the council Tweeted, in reference to the thousands of people who flocked to the banks of the Hudson Tuesday to watch the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels fly across the city’s skies in honor of health care workers battling the pandemic.
De Blasio on Wednesday night retweeted the NYPD after an antisemitic hate crime in Brooklyn.
He said: ‘If you have any information on this vicious attack please contact the NYPD IMMEDIATELY. This kind of loathsome hate has no home in our city.’
De Blasio has been blasted by the Jewish community over his comments Tuesday
That sparked further criticisms online, with Twitter users quick to point to his earlier actions and words and suggest that they fuel antisemitism.
NYPD’s Shea said Wednesday the mass gatherings risk the lives of police officers.
‘This large gathering is putting members of my department at risk and is going to be met with very stern consequences. There are to be no gatherings in NYC such as what we saw last night,’ he said.
Shea added that NYPD funerals for officers who have died during the pandemic have also not been able to be carried out as normal due to the virus.
At least 2,300 people have tested positive for the virus in Borough Park, according to city data.
This makes the zip code the sixth highest for coronavirus cases in the city.
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