Some NYPD Officers Won't Wear Masks: Do Cops Feel Above the Law? - Rolling Stone
×
Home Culture Culture News

Why Won’t Cops Wear Masks?

In New York City, widespread use of masks is keeping COVID-19 numbers low — but the cops don’t seem be onboard

Members of the New York City Police Department look on from the Midtown North Precinct as Black Lives Matter protesters march in midtown over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on June 7, 2020 in New York.

Members of the New York City Police Department look on from the Midtown North Precinct as Black Lives Matter protesters march in midtown over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on June 7, 2020 in New York.

BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

Now that we’re six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us think of wearing a mask in the same vein as wallets or cell phones or keys: as a necessity anytime you go out. One group, however, does not appear to view masks in the same way: police officers, many of whom are tasked with enforcing social distancing rules.

On her Instagram story on Wednesday night, the model Bella Hadid posted a photo of herself giving the middle finger to three New York Police Department officers standing outside City Hall, none of whom were wearing masks. “Hi @NYPD masks are for all of our safety, not just urs,” she wrote in the caption.

The same day, the Twitter account @NYPDMaskWatch, which crowd-sources reports of cops who refuse to wear masks, tweeted a video of an NYPD officer named Patrick Craig refusing to wear a mask at a Brooklyn deli where face coverings were required, which subsequently went viral. Craig reportedly has a number of complaints on his disciplinary record, including four regarding use of force. (The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Such viral posts are far from isolated incidents. For the past few months, many NYPD officers have garnered intense criticism for not wearing masks in public, particularly at Black Lives Matter protests, in spite of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pleas for officers to wear masks, and numerous COVID-19-related deaths on the police force. Although official NYPD policy is that officers should wear face coverings, in the past it has been dismissive of critiques of its officers foregoing masks. “With everything New York City has been through in the past two weeks and everything we are working toward together, we can put our energy to a better use,” Sgt. Jessica McRorie said in a statement. 

In This Article: coronavirus, covid-19, masks, NYPD

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.