Gov. Cuomo lashes out at cops who won’t enforce his Thanksgiving restrictions

by Peter Heck · Nov 26th, 2020 10:11 am
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Last Updated Nov 28th, 2020 at 1:23 pm

New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not happy with various members of the New York law enforcement community who have refused to enforce his restrictions on indoor gatherings for Thanksgiving.

"A lot of police officers don't wear a mask," Cuomo said. "Well, 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.'"

After Cuomo issued last week's decree that limited all family gatherings to 10 people, several New York police officials made public remarks acknowledging their unwillingness to break up holiday events.

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said his department would not be concerning themselves with such orders.

"We're not planning on breaking up Thanksgiving celebrations," Shea said. "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."

Several county sheriffs in New York felt similarly.

"Frankly, I am not sure it could sustain a Constitutional challenge in Court for several reasons including your house is your castle," Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino wrote on his department's Facebook page. "And as a Sheriff with a law degree I couldn't in good faith attempt to defend in Court, so I won't."

Giardino also said the restrictions posed logistical problems, as well.

"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," Giardino said.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo echoed Giardino's sentiments.

"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," Zurlo said in a statement.


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