Video posted on Facebook shows cops leading up to dozens of mourners, howling sirens, during a procession near 55th Street and 12th Avenue in Borough Park which was held for Rabbi Meir Rokeach , 78, who died Saturday of COVID-19 Saturday night.
“It’s not six feet,” said an officer wearing a protective mask over the speaker, as members of the Orthodox Jewish community continue to gather.
The agents then broadcast a recording reminding those gathered to keep a distance of at least 6 feet in public in order to curb the spread of the virus.
But the masses of mourners ignored the warnings, although a man was seen approaching the patrol car to apologize.
A few hours later, crowds of Hasidic Jews, some wearing blue masks, attended another funeral procession outdoors about a mile away, near 44th Street and 16th Avenue. The police also responded and asked the congregation to disperse.
At the two rallies, the funeral asked for more time to cry, and the cops, “wanting to be respectful because they were in mourning,” gave them about five minutes before they started listening to the recording heard in the video. , a NYPD spokesperson told me.
The crowd eventually shrank, she said. No arrest or summons was issued in either case.
The events took place just days after another Hasidic Jewish funeral on N Avenue near East 9th Street in Midwood.
Last month, members of New York’s Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish community openly violated orders of social distancing by organizing noisy weddings in Brooklyn with hundreds of guests amid the growing spread of the virus.
But since then, community leaders have maintained that orders for social distancing are widely followed with the closure of each major synagogue, even as Passover approaches this week.
Governor Andrew Cuomo banned crowds of 50 or more and President Trump said that Americans should avoid events with more than 10 people in the midst of the epidemic, which infected 64,955 people and killed 2,472 in the Big Apple from Sunday evening.