New York City Wants You To Call the Cops on People Who Fail Social Distancing

It's authoritarian—and unnecessary.


New York City is asking its citizens to report other people to the authorities for failing to abide by social distancing orders. This is an unnecessary—and authoritarian—escalation of the city's coronavirus response.

"The City has enacted public health social distancing restrictions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus," states the government's non-emergency services website. "You can report a violation in progress for the City to enforce as appropriate." As examples of the kinds of things that people should report, the city lists non-essential businesses remaining open, and overcrowding in general.

Social distancing is one of the most important tools for reducing the disease's spread, and it's a hopeful sign that compliance with recommended guidelines has been so overwhelming. (For instance, despite the negative framing of this New York Times article, the actual story is that people are traveling far, far, far less than normal.) But at some point, trying to force every last person to stand six feet away has diminishing returns. This is especially true when punitive means become involved—and when civilians are expected to participate in the policing. See-something-say-something directives make people suspicious of each other, and they invite people to demand police intervention in situations that don't merit it. A bystander could, for example, report a group of people without realizing that they're a family. (Household are not expected to distance from each other.) Expecting people to understand the rules as they apply to themselves is one matter. Where other people are concerned, it's usually best for us to mind our own business.

New York City is currently reeling from COVID-19. That seems like a good reason to avoid bogging down police and city officials with reports that someone, somewhere, might be technically violating orders. Overzealous enforcement can breed contempt for the rules: Look no further than the U.K., where the spectacle of officials hassling dog-walkers led a former Supreme Court judge to lament that "this is what a police state looks like."

NEXT: Dump the FDA for a Healthier America

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  1. “New York City is asking its citizens to report other people to the authorities for failing to abide by social distancing orders…”

    Will you have to hand over your papers, comrade?

    1. At some point cops are the infected one trying to infect you with a deadly disease (according to hysterical tyrannical state governments).

      DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED to keep the cops away.

  2. There’s an ever-so-hip em dash in the subhead. Don’t even have to check the byline to know this is a Soave special.

    1. Fucking typography nerds are the worst.

      1. Typography nerds have two crotches and four ball terminals.

  3. But Trump is the real tyrant…
    Nothing to see elsewhere!

    1. That’s an odd comment to an article that doesn’t once mention Trump and makes it quite clear that there are plenty of others practicing tyranny.

      1. Yeah but Orange Mag Bad

        1. Hey look you’re crying again.

    2. Be shocked nardz that unreason sock trolls come to defend unreason.

  4. You know who else wanted you to report your neighbors?

    1. Mr. Rogers’ black-sheep Nazi cousin?

      1. Narragansett Beer? Hey neighbor, have a ‘Gansett!

        1. Hmmm…for research purposes I checked their Web site and they seem to have a “hi, neighbor,” theme – as well as an old ad seemingly drawn by Dr. Seuss – especially the flying goat.

        2. This is just the beginning – they will soon want you to rat out anyone you see for smoking/vaping, not getting enough sleep, letting your kids eat junk food. China already has the social credit system, so this isn’t new

    2. Nazis. And by Nazis I mean National Socialists.

    3. Hugo Boss.?

      Does everyone know that Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms in WWII?

      1. Does everyone know that every German clothing manufacturer who wasn’t shut down made Nazi uniforms?

    4. New Jersey has become a nest of self- righteous snitches and internet scolds. It reminds me of that scene in the ’70s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where Donald Sutherland does the point and scream. I never want to hear “Jersey Strong” ever again. “Jersey Stasi”, thought, that could work.

  5. “911, what’s your emergency?”

    “Some Typhoid Mary type woman is going around infecting people!”

    “Yeah, we’ll send an officer right away. [hangs up]. Hey, guys, get this, some civilian wants cops to go out and get infected!”

    1. Yeah, we’ll send an officer right away. [hangs up]. Hey, guys, get this, some civilian wants cops to go out and get infected shoot somebody!”

      1. I truly feel for our nation’s police officers; they have to balance their rabid desire to go home safely at night with their rabid desire to shoot people for no reason. This must be a very difficult time for them.

  6. I live in Damnearalabama, Georgia – why do I give a shit what NYC wants me to do? As far as I know, the government of NYC has dominion over only the residents of NYC and all I can say is that if you chose to live in NYC, you chose poorly.

    1. How else are Lefty traitors gonna scare Americans into doing what their stupid state politicians are doing?

      Notice Governor Brian Kemp is starting to fall for all the Lefty Propaganda? He was considering some Martial Law bullshit because other retard states like NY and Commifornia are doing it.

      1. I think a lot of states realize the federal cash is gonna start rolling in to bail them out if they crater their tax base.

        1. There is not enough wealth in the World to right the wrongs by states nuking our economy.

          There are 244 years of blood, sweat, and tears poured into the USA to get to where we are.

    2. Why do I give a shit where you live?

      1. Why would anyone give a shit about what you give a shit about.

    3. Because, unlike mental retardation, political retardation is highly contagious – coming soon to a government near you.

  7. We’re all Nancy now.

  8. New York City Wants You To Call the Cops on People Who Fail Social Distancing
    It’s authoritarian—and unnecessary.

    It’s unconstitutional, illegal, and unAmericans to want to force people to stand some distance from others.

    It’s KungFlu hysteria!

  9. If you see something say something!

    1. If you see something say tweet something.

      1. html strikethrough error

  10. snitches get stitches.

    1. There’s no room left in the hospital for stitching you up.

      1. There are plenty of hospitals that have zero Wuhanvirus patients. They are operating normally.

        1. In NYC? Your cite fell off.

          1. You didnt mention NYC in your comment.

            Boy, you unreason types sure are butthurt. Go for a walk and make sure you pussies stay 21 feet from others like the gubmint told you too.

            1. But outside NYC, yeah. Upstate NY has counties with few KungFlu cases.

            2. The article is about NYC.

              By the way, my response was a joke, but you decided to respond to it as if serious, twice. Maybe you should take a walk. Come out of your bunker and enjoy the fresh air.

              1. Damn him shutting you the fuck up really upset you.

              2. “my response was a joke”

                applies too broadly to differentiate anything.

    2. Snitches used to get stitches. Now that the hospitals are overflowing, they just bleed out.

  11. Where other people are concerned, it’s usually best for us to mind our own business.

    Robby, that’s just crazy talk. We’re all in this together!

    1. “…We’re all in this together!”

      Well, Hihn and JFree can go to city hall to beg permission for something or other on their knees.
      I’m not ‘in this together’ with scumbags like that.

      1. I’ve been trying to come up with diplomatic ways to tell people to eff off as they proceed to social pressure/woke scold me into compliance with this authoritarianism – I got nothing. You?

        1. Be an American, not an American’t. Stop being a pussy. That is what I tell people.

          Americans made it through smallpox, polio, spanish flu, starvation, WWII…. this is no worse than the seasonal flu

          1. Civil war. Revolutionary war. Great depression had 24.9% unemployment and peoples farms had their topsoil blow away so you could not see the Sun.

            Grow up.

  12. “Police? Yes. Hello. I keep seeing this lady that stands on the corner outside of my apartment, guys pull up in a car, she gets in, and then she’s back 20 minutes later. This keeps happening. I’m not sure what’s going on, but she’s not practicing proper social distancing. She has long blonde hair, a leopard print dress, fishnet stockings, high heels… Yes. That’s her. Thank you.”

    1. Thank you for reporting this sir, we’ll send a couple officers over to investigate immediately. Do not be alarmed if you see a similar interaction occur; these men are trained professionals and will get to the bottom of this in the safest manner possible.

      1. Every time I hear of Police stings for prostitution, I always think of this South Park episode.

        South Park Undercover Prostitute Cop Gets Anal

  13. Simply require everyone to wear a belt with 6′ poles sticking out horizontally all around. Must I think of *everything*?

    1. Plastic bubbles. As you walk the bubble rolls with you. Must *I* think of everything.

  14. Social distancing is one of the most important tools for reducing the disease’s spread

    STOP FUCKING CALLING IT SOCIAL DISTANCING. It is physical distancing. Anyone who calls it social distancing is attempting sociopathic manipulation – NOT reducing disease spread.

    1. They can call that stupid shit whatever they want. It’s hysterical nonsense and I stand next to people everywhere I go. I wont wear a mask.

    2. So I went out for a jog yesterday and this spandex warrior princess approached from the other end of the block and moved into the street/bike lane, as do many other runners even before this social distancing thing started, She then turned around and shouted “thank you for making me run in the street!” I wanted to tell her to fuck off, but now it sounds like in NYC I could report her for conspiring to violate social distancing. Sweet!

      1. Just say “you’re welcome” as if you thought she said it completely straight.

      2. I am totally fucking with hysterical Sheeple these days.

        I walk up to people at ‘normal’ distances in line at stores. I talk to other customers about how hysterical all this 6 foot distance bullshit is. I take products from the shelves, look at them and then put them back without wearing gloves.

    3. Thank you. I have found that term quite bothersome since people started using it.
      The language being used in all of this is as scary as anything. “Shelter in place”, “lockdown”, are you fucking kidding me? Those are not terms that a person should ever hear seriously used unless he is incarcerated or we are being actively bombed.

      1. As opposed to passively bombed? This “active” business bothers me. “Active” shooter? And then there’s “actionable”, which used to mean you could be sued for it. Don’t get me started on “double down” instead of “double up” outside of blackjack.


      You and assholes like you are the reason we’re dealing with this. Please find some way to die. Today.

    5. Exactly. Robby wrote: “See-something-say-something directives make people suspicious of each other, and they invite people to demand police intervention in situations that don’t merit it.” But that’s the whole point of the exercise. It’s much easier to oppress people who are isolated and afraid of each other.

  15. So the cops have to stay 6 feet from me, right?

    1. They keep arresting people for illegal government rules and they will be 6 feet under.

  16. Are casual sex partners a thing of the past?

  17. Anything mandatory like this goes too far. I don’t care how many more people might die. It’s not worth the loss of liberty, and you know it just means that in the next crisis (whatever that may be) people will just be more ready to be told what to do and officials will be even less hesitant to use extreme measures like this.
    People need to say “fuck this shit” and get on with their lives. And they need to do it soon.

    1. Isn’t that the terrifying thing? These mandatory Stasi actions don’t appear to be driven by the pols, they are being demanded by the terrified masses 🙁

      1. I suspect they are being driven by hysterical minority of people. Most people wont contact politicians for anything.

        This is politicians scared that old people will survive this and vote them out. For some reason the politicians are not scared of young people starving with no money who will start burning their government buildings down and hanging them from those fancy, overpriced, and curved light poles.

      2. “Isn’t that the terrifying thing? These mandatory Stasi actions don’t appear to be driven by the pols, they are being demanded by the terrified masses”

        Yeah, you could believe that if you believe, oh Newsom or similar grease-bags.
        They’re only doing it because the mobs at their office doors are demanding it, right?

      3. I dont know about that. There are some very “conservative” construction workers I work with who have spouted out drivel about locking people up for violating these orders. Even had one guy tell me it was akin to murder.

        1. The pants-shitting is definitely bipartisan.

          The only people I’m seeing who are even thinking to question these police-state measures are libertarians and a few civil liberties spergs on both sides of the aisle. The left-wing rag in Aurora, CO went full-on “arrest the perpetrators” the other day, which I NEVER expected to happen.

          People who shouldn’t be affected by this, even if they catch it, are full-on terrified that they’re going to keel over from the coof. It’s going to be interesting once this lunacy ends (and it will have to end, or the country is even more fucked than it already is from the self-inflicted wounding), to see how people react for the next few months whenever somebody coughs.

          My only question is, if we’re going back to 19th century modes of transportation with the GND, and are acting like 19th century America did during breakouts of contagious illnesses, can we at least go back to 19th century levels of government?

          1. “”The pants-shitting is definitely bipartisan.””

            Thus the run on toilet paper.

        2. Ignant people are democrat and republican.

          FOX is hysterical too like CNN and other Lefty hack outlets.

  18. Can we report hizhonor for being too close to the TV screen?

    1. Only if it’s a CRT.

  19. Cops will prove to be the #1 vector for this thing. It’s simple math. Your likelihood of being infected is directly related to your number of contacts.

    Assume a 100% cop infection rate, and don’t let them get close.

    And there isn’t a single person in city hall who can see this?

    1. These morons are too scared to test every American.

      They dont want to know that most Americans were already exposed to KungFlu, never got infected, are asymptomatic and got over the bug, or recovered on their own with minor symptoms.

      All this hysteria was 100% unnecessary. The prison guards are always scared of the inmates because they are outnumbered.

  20. “You can report social distancing violations” at a web site. Unlike many libertarians, I want to urge all y’all to do just that. Maybe if two billion people tattle every day, NYC will get the message.

    1. Make the web site crash!

    2. Fuck off, slaver.

  21. Silly sanctuary city!

  22. This is the tragedy of libertarianism. The problem of social distancing is the same as seat belts, motorcycle helmets, tobacco smoking, gun control, etc., etc. When people act like idiots, the authoritarians invoke the nanny state. You can blame the authoritarians, but the root problem is the idiocy. And America is full of it. It’s ridiculous to argue that the idiots have the right to run around infecting others and spurring the pandemic. No sane society is going to tolerate that.

    1. Liberty is more important than life. Fuck off with your “sane society” bullshit. If we wanted to live in a “sane society,” we’d still be an English colony.

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  24. New York is so sick in so many ways one would not know where to start discussing it. That Andrew Cuomo actually sounds relatively reasonable and Bill de Blasio does not (spellcheck just came up with “delusional”) is just for openers. The city seems like intellectual vagrants bathing in money and no idea what to do with it. Prepared in advance? Not a chance. And nationally?
    Try this interesting video I can’t personally vouch for the source, but a very good friend in the computer world does.

  25. NYC is the problem. It should have been quarantined three weeks ago when Gov Insufferable started to punish the rest of the State. Now Peggy Nonnan is swooning over her new love Andrew (I helped bankrupt freddie and fannie when I ran HUD) Cuomo. The son of Cuomo is now taking ventilators from Western, Central, and Northern NY hospitals…which is ridiculous as by not stopping the wokes/yentas (to quote the great Howard Stern) from leaving NYC they have now spread the virus. Snake Plissken is what is needed…no one in and no one out but Snake

  26. This brings up an interesting theoretical question. If I were in a “stand your ground” state and somebody came within 6 feet of me could I use my 2nd amendment right to deal with a clear and present threat to my life and safety?

  27. Because of my FOBSBD (Fear Of Being Surrounded By D*ckheads), I was practicing “social distancing” long before it became trendy. However, the use of police force to ensure compliance is disgusting (but not unexpected).

    I keep saying to anyone I meet that: “This is what socialism looks like – empty shelves in supermarkets, the government telling us all what we can and cannot do, and our lives dictated by fear. Remember this next time you vote!”

    If people were smart enough to get it, no one would ever vote for Bernie Sanders or anyone else who claims to be a socialist.

    1. I was in total agreement right up until the “remember this next time you vote”…
      I guess you are one that believes your vote actually still matters for anything?

      I believe the proper tact is in the other direction. Separate yourself from these criminal Municipal Corporations on all terms. Stop asking their permission to do what you have a free, inherent right to do. Make them irrelevant.
      You don’t need a license to get married. You don’t have to register your children with them (birth certificate & social security #) You don’t have to send the ownership papers to your family car to them, adorn your car with their license plate and subject yourself & family to their Municipal mercenaries out on revenue extortion duties. No, you do NOT need a license to sit behind the wheel of your car on the “public RIGHT of way” to go to the supermarket or wherever the hell you want to, outside of a commercial, for hire capacity. You don’t need a permit (permission) from the Twp (municipal corporation) to do work on your own freaking house!
      The government is NOT us.

  28. Just think of the isolation that RBG must be at. Imagine the machinations they must be doing to keep her from being exposed.

    1. Doubt they’re doing much of anything. RBG is too tough to die of this.

  29. Counterpoint:

    Call the cops on people every 5 minutes. Overload the system. Make them play the game.

  30. Thanks for sharing this information with me.

  31. Snitches and talkers get stitches and walkers.

  32. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, *******–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…*****

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