Chaotic Video Shows NYPD Breaking Up Jewish Funeral, Chasing Hearse Days After de Blasio's Threat


A video circulating on social media shows New York City Police Department officers breaking up a crowded funeral procession on Thursday, two days after Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had instructed the NYPD to summons or arrest people gathering in large groups.

In the video, officers chased a minivan that carried the body of a deceased rabbi through the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, The Associated Press reported.

NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell told the AP a 17-year-old boy was taken into custody and issued a summons for disorderly conduct during the altercation.

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Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder, who represents the neighborhood, responded to the confrontation, saying, “Stop the chaos now.”

“Terrorizing people by sending in armies of cops during such stressful times is not helpful at all,” he tweeted. “@NYCMayor – we need real leadership.”

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The chaos in the street came two days after de Blasio had responded to a crowded Williamsburg funeral for a different rabbi, Fox News reported. He visited the site of the funeral and issued a warning on Twitter.

“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” he tweeted.

“I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping the disease and saving lives. Period.”

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After people accused the mayor of anti-Semitism, he apologized for his tweet.

“I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people a feeling of being treated the wrong way, that was not my intention,” de Blasio told reporters, according to The New York Times.

“It was said with love, but it was tough love.”

Responding to de Blasio’s tweets, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz urged the Justice Department “to closely monitor New York City” for potential religious discrimination, the AP reported.

New York has banned gatherings of any size for any purpose in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Friday morning, 308,314 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New York state, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith