New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) blasted members of the NYPD for refusing to enforce restrictions on indoor gatherings ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
What's a brief history here?
Last week, Cuomo issued updated COVID-19-related restrictions — which included a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings — to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
His latest remarks come on the heels of New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea's recent announcement that the NYPD has no plans to break up indoor gatherings despite the state limit being 10 people per home.
What are the details?
According to a Wednesday New York Post report, Cuomo blasted police for turning a blind eye to such gatherings, and for allegations that many officers themselves refuse to wear masks.
"A lot of police officers don't wear a mask," he said. "[W]ell, how are you then supposed to enforce other people wearing a mask when they see you not wearing a mask? 'I violate the law but you can't.' No! Nobody said you were above the law! I don't believe that person is a law enforcement officer. I don't want a law enforcement officer who says, 'I'm only enforcing the law that I like or think should be enforced.'"
Last week, Shea told NY1, "We're not planning on breaking up Thanksgiving celebrations. ... We have to be smart. We're encouraging everyone to use common sense here and to get New York City through this. No one in large gatherings, we think at this point that's common sense."
According to the New York Post, several New York state sheriffs announced a refusal to enforce Cuomo's mandate on Thanksgiving gatherings.
One such law enforcement official is Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino, who took to Facebook and wrote, "Frankly, I am not sure it could sustain a Constitutional challenge in Court for several reasons including your house is your castle. And as a Sheriff with a law degree I couldn't in good faith attempt to defend in Court, so I won't. ... We have limited resources and we have to set priorities, so obtaining a Search Warrant to enter your home to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority."
Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard, and Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo also echoed Giardino's sentiments, according to the outlet.
In a news release, Zurlo said, "I can't see how devoting our resources to counting cars in citizens' driveways or investigating how much turkey and dressing they've purchased is for the public good."