NYC Black, Brown Communities Get Longer Police Response Times When Calling In Social Distancing Violations

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/04/29: NYPD officer wearing a protective mask. An unauthorized person initially on the tracks climbed on the roof of the Flushing Avenue subway station causing delays and multiple impacts to J and M trains on April 29, 2020. Streets were closed to traffic and the subway service was suspended on both directions for several hours while NYPD and FDNY responded to the emergency situation with the unauthorized person threatening to jump off the roof.
He was finally brought down safely and sent for psychiatric evaluation. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NYC Black, Brown Communities Get Longer Police Response Times When Calling In Social Distancing Violations

A newspaper analysis shows the disparity between communities

Published April 30th

Written by Madison J. Gray

African American and Latino communities in New York apparently get the slowest response times from police when complaints come in about crowds violating social distancing mandates in the city.

An analysis done by the New York Daily News found that the NYPD takes longer to respond in Black and Brown communities, although predominantly white areas report crowding most, the data illustrates.

The Daily News looked at 20,805 social distancing complaints made to 311, the city’s public information hotline between March 28 and April 26. Racial demographic data was available for 20,278 of the reports and concluded that the areas where a majority African American or West Indians lived saw police taking an average hour and 48 minutes to respond to 311 complaints. Those communities made up only about 17 percent of the calls.

RELATED: Blacks And Latinos Are Dying At Twice The Rate Of Whites From Coronavirus In New York City

In majority Latino areas, cops took on average an hour and 42 minutes to respond and yet, these communities only had about 28 percent of the calls.


However, in New York neighborhoods with mostly white residents, police took an average of an hour and 22 minutes to respond. These areas made up 45 percent of calls to 311.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has publicly directed “immediate” response to violation of social distancing rules, which have been imposed for at least a month. However, the Daily News data shows something different.

Black people in New York have the highest death rate from the virus at 127.1 per 100,000, followed by Latinos at 114 per 100,000, according to the most recent data released by the city.

“We should never live with these kinds of disparities,” de Blasio said earlier in April. “We have a lot of work to do to address the needs of communities of color right this minute.”

It it’s defense, the NYPD said it has made more than a half million runs to respond to social distancing violations since March 23, which include 311 responses. This month, officers began using a phone app that pushes real time 311 complaints by service area.

“We are in the process of improving our response times to 311 calls,” said NYPD spokesperson Devora Kaye. “This is not a full fix. In the past 311 was not used for responding to potentially dangerous conditions in a pandemic.”

Photo Credit: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

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