A couple from Bay Ridge, NY, an enclave in Brooklyn, was pulled from a city ferry and handcuffed after they refused to comply with the New York state mask mandate.
For more than an hour, the man and woman held up the boat after they refused to disembark at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The pair insisted that they had medical conditions preventing them from using face coverings mandated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, yet they failed to show officers any proof, and the man reportedly smoked a cigarette during much of the encounter.
Jake Offenhartz, a reporter for Gothamist, was on the scene and filmed the events, writing on Twitter that the couple encouraged him to keep filming.
The couple told police that the ferry captain was “shaming” them and “discriminating against” them.
“If we were f**king Black, I can guarantee you that guy would never come out and tell us to put a mask on,” the wife ranted.
“Right, because Black Lives Matter,” her husband agreed.
After a long standoff, during which other passengers demanded the couple leave, officers gave the two one last opportunity to voluntarily depart the ferry, citing that the captain had the authority to remove unruly passengers. The man and woman chose instead to be handcuffed and escorted from the boat. They said that they plan to sue.
“I’m just so fed up, this has been going on since March, and my husband is f**king pissed off,” the woman told Gothamist. “Every time I have to commute to Manhattan, it’s a fu**ing process.”
After being removed from the boat, the couple was given a summons for disorderly conduct.
New York City was once the epicenter of the coronavirus, where more than 23,000 people have died from it. The COVID-19 infection rate, now, continues to decline in the city, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the state’s infection rate has been less than 1% for over a month.
“New Yorkers can help us keep that streak going by wearing masks, socially distancing and washing their hands,” Cuomo said. “Our actions today determine the rate of infection tomorrow.”
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