A New York Cop Beat Someone Up Over Social Distancing. Will NYPD Policing Finally Change Now?

The same weekend, the NYPD tweeted pictures of its officers peacefully handing out masks.


The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique threat to overcrowded jails, which has led many police departments to reevaluate how they enforce low-level crimes. But the outbreak hasn't stopped the New York Police Department (NYPD) from going after low-level offenses or from using force in the process.

For evidence, examine a viral video of a Saturday social-distancing arrest.

The video begins with several NYPD officers tackling someone to the ground. A small crowd gathers, protesting the officers' actions. Plainclothes officer Francisco Garcia, who had his knee on the suspect's back, gets up and points his taser toward members of the small crowd. He deploys the taser while commanding: "Move the fuck back."

Garcia walks toward a man, later identified as Donni Wright, and the two are heard having a verbal disagreement. Garcia asks Wright why he's "flexing," and Wright's fist appears to be clenched when his body enters the frame.

The situation escalates when Garcia—not wearing a mask—grabs Wright and punches him to the ground. Garcia drags Wright and continues to punch him while another officer rushes to his side to help make an arrest.

More bystanders are heard in the background telling Garcia that they've captured the events on camera. Garcia, whose body is pressed against Wright's on the ground, pulls out his taser once again and continues to argue with the witnesses.

The Associated Press has reported that the initial arrest was for a social distancing violation. Police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O'Donnell told the AP that Wright was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest because he "took a fighting stance against the officer" after Garcia ordered him to disperse.

After the video made its rounds, a "disturbed" Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Sunday that the officer was placed on modified duty and that an investigation was underway. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has since deferred the charges against Wright pending investigation.

This is not the first time the NYPD's enforcement of a low-level offense has escalated without cause during the pandemic. Officials and advocates have asked the department to modify its policing of low-level offenses, in hopes of reducing the threat the virus presents to overcrowded jails. But NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea assured everyone that the department has no such plans.

Well, sometimes it doesn't have such plans. Another viral image shows what appears to be an NYPD officer interacting with a group that wasn't abiding by social-distancing protocols. And the same weekend that Garcia brandished his taser at that crowd, New York cops elsewhere in the city responded to the pandemic another way: by peacefully passing out masks to people who weren't wearing them.

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  1. No clingers who refuse to social distance deserve to get beaten

    1. Obviously, that guy was clearly a white nationalist who got what he deserved.

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    2. Cops who like beating people up are probably 400% more likely to catch Covid-19 from their victims.

  2. >Will NYPD Policing Finally Change Now?

    1. Good cop, bad cop, bad cop, bad cop, bad cop, bad cop, bad cop.

  3. To be fair, the NYPD naturally took “flattening the curve” to mean issuing beatdowns. They don’t know who “the curve” refers to, but they understand “flattening”.

    1. Next it’ll be ‘flatten the curve or we’re coming to flatten your head’. The slavers will cheer it on like it should be normal.

  4. Hey, we didn’t choke him to death, so shaddap!!

    1. Sometimes, it’s almost as if the peasants don’t even appreciate getting the shit beat out of them, for “their safety™”!

  5. Will the NYPD ever explain how they train their officers to distinguish a married couple walking hand in hand from two ‘strangers’ two should be six feet apart?
    Will anyone ever actually confirm that the magic six feet is in fact the proper distance?
    Who is John Galt?

    1. If you had watched the cherry pit spitting contest on TV yesterday you’d know why 6 feet is magic.

      Some people!!

  6. That’s what you get for living in NYC

  7. After the video made its rounds, a “disturbed” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Sunday that the officer was placed on modified duty and that an investigation was underway.

    Guess the victim wasn’t an orthodox jew.

  8. I wonder if the NYPD, which has expressed such faith in the “broken windows” theory that preventing small offenses will prevent more serious offenses, has ever considered telling its officers that they are not to use any form of the word “fuck” when addressing the public in their official role?

    1. That would be futile given the limited lexicon of the average hero.

    2. While they’re giving their officers advice, waving a weapon at people while telling them to move back should probably be discouraged as well.

  9. copper used a six-foot nightstick?

  10. Will NYPD Policing Finally Change Now?

    No. Next question.

  11. This is what get when you value ’diversity’ over merit, competency, and qualifications.

    1. Actually, it’s what you get when they value low IQ and high suggestibility.

  12. With the UN in New York what would they do with a violator if they claimed diplomatic immunity, hell they can’t even get them to pay parking tickets.

    1. Diplomatic immunity requires a test for the commievirus or else you get quarantined for 2 weeks.

  13. Wright was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest because he “took a fighting stance against the officer”

    I’ll bite Did Wright “stand his ground”? “Flip the officer the bird”? Or what?

    1. According to the article, he clenched his fist.

      1. Was it an assault fist?

  14. Obviously the perp refused to accept the mask so kindly offered.

  15. Tasing induces the flexing, flexing justifies the beating.
    Throw in a couple of “Stop resistings” and that’s what we call a hero!

  16. No, they won’t change. They are pigs. This is what they do. If they weren’t allowed to beat the shit out of you for the crime of not being a pig, then how could the force recruit new pigs? Fuck them.

    1. But they hand out masks!

      Useles masks.

      All for a virus that’s not lethal for most.

      Saving your life for your own good. The psychological trauma for saving your life? Who cares?

      Unless these shitstained politicians who think they’re fricken Winston Churchill in their heads go full throttle with the martial law and start busting heads, they’d be wise to quit while they’re ahead.

      1. “But they hand out masks!”

        So does Dick’s Giant Giant Subs, which is where I got the one I don’t wear

  17. Steroids are a hellava drug.

  18. That’s all well and good, but what’s the union’s view?

  19. What a fricken mess.

  20. Heroes

  21. Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell ? Probably wasn’t tough enough to be a nun.

  22. What’s the point of serving and protecting, if you can’t beat the shit out of, and destroy the lives of peasants, for their ‘safety’?

  23. Adolf DeBlasio’s only regret is that the beatings weren’t directed at any Jews.

  24. Dr. Erikson is right
    This only ends with violence.

  25. “Will NYPD Policing Finally Change Now?”

    Change? Why? Beatings are a feature, not a bug.

  26. I love how a plain clothes officer gets to start a fight, but then the individual being assaulted gets charged with assaulting an officer who is not clearly able to be identified as such.

  27. What possible incentive do they have to change?

  28. You will know the worm has turned when we get a story about a mob beating up the police for over stepping.

  29. The cop’s name is Garcia because he’s hispanic. Hispanics are low IQ. Low IQs are more prone to violence.
    Everyone should be carrying a gun. If someone gets too close warn them. If they ignore the warning shoot them, because you fear for your life. Even if they call themselves “the police”.

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