Park Gate Welded Shut In Jewish Neighborhood. NYC Mayor’s Office Defends It.
A video circulating on social media Monday appeared to show a group of men welding the gate shut of a park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a historically Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. The parks in the city remain closed, under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership, however, many are questioning the incident as he continues to allow thousands of residents to protest and even riot in the streets.
The Mayor’s spokesperson Jane Meyer defended the move, telling this reporter that “We know families are looking for relief, and we are watching health indicators closely and simultaneously working on a plan so when it’s safe to open playgrounds, we can.”
When asked if other parks had been welded shut, Meyer explained that “If patrons remove locks that were keeping gates closed, they will be shut again.” Although requested by this reporter, Meyer didn’t provide a list of other parks that had been welded shut across the city.
Today’s #BrooklynLiberation protest and march for #BlackTransLivesMatter #BLM #BlackLivesMatter
This 👀 view from across the apt!! #brooklynprotests #march #rally #protest #nyc pic.twitter.com/PcuTr8vNPU
— Alfredo Macias (@Alfredo11Macias) June 14, 2020
Over the last weekend, however, thousands of protestors in Brooklyn were allowed to participate in a Black Lives Matter rally as social distancing orders remained.
Another view of how the NYC Park Dept are welding shut the gates at the Middleton Playground (Lynch Park) so our kids shouldn't be able to play in the hot summer days in the Park. https://t.co/7o0SKlhLnk pic.twitter.com/WBSVNBoRvW
— WILLIAMSBURG NEWS (@WMSBG) June 15, 2020
The Mayor has been pressed for allegedly singling out the Jewish community amid the COVID lockdowns. In fact, he’s put out a series of tweets threatening them with arrest and even Cease and Desist orders.
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. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people. We’re issuing a Cease and Desist Order and will make sure we keep our communities and our kids safe.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 18, 2020
Now, de Blasio has become the center of a lawsuit with both Jewish and Catholic plaintiffs claim “selective enforcement” of the Mayor’s “social distancing orders.” Moreover, their suit alleges that de Blasio prevented them from gathering for religious purposes while allowing thousands to protest in the streets.