Scores of people turned out for the funeral of a rabbi in New York City on Tuesday, prompting the police to break up the gathering.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) confirmed to the Hill that police were dispersing the crowd gathered in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn to honor Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who reportedly died from the coronavirus.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said the mayor himself was on the scene with Police Commissioner Dermot Shea breaking up the crowd of mourners.
The mayor tweeted that such gatherings "WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus."
"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," he wrote.
I empathisize with the desire to mourn those we’ve lost, but this is absolutely unacceptable. The Mayor is on the scene and the NYPD is breaking this up. https://t.co/xBvcICVRSX— Freddi Goldstein (@FreddiGoldstein) April 29, 2020