Brooklyn: De Blasio Breaks Up Massive Hasidic Funeral

The New York Times reports:

Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at Hasidic residents of the Williamsburg section in Brooklyn late Tuesday night after personally overseeing the dispersal of a crowd of hundreds of mourners who had gathered for the funeral of a rabbi who died of the coronavirus.

In a series of tweets, Mr. de Blasio denounced the gathering, which the police broke up, and warned “the Jewish community, and all communities” that any violation of the social-distancing guidelines in place to stop the spread of the virus could lead to a summons or an arrest.

The authorities have dispersed several well-attended religious gatherings since restrictions on such events were enacted in the face of the outbreak. The events that were broken up included weddings and funerals in New York neighborhoods with large Jewish populations.

NBC New York reports:

Crowds of Hasidic men and women were packed tightly onto sidewalks and in the streets, some wearing masks but all other social distancing measures were completely disregarded, pictures posted on Twitter showed.

The funeral on Tuesday was held for Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who died at 73 from COVID-19 — one of the city’s over 12,500 deaths from the highly contagious virus that has forced nearly the entire country into quarantine.

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said de Blasio failed to enforce social distancing when it came to the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels flyover earlier in the day, an event that brought people out of their homes and in common areas to watch.