Video posted on social media of NYPD cops arresting a Manhattan deliveryman for violating the city’s 8 p.m. curfew drew a sharp rebuke Friday from Mayor de Blasio.
Delivery workers have been deemed essential by the city and are exempt from the curfew that was put in place Tuesday to tamp down on late-night violence amid the George Floyd protests.
The cellphone video was posted on Twitter Thursday night and has since been viewed over a million times. It shows the Caviar delivery worker getting handcuffed on W. 108th St. near Central Park while cops go through his insulated food bag.
“Are you serious? I’m not even doing anything!” the man says in the clip. “Are you serious?”
This delivery guy thought he’s an essential worker, police seemed to disagree. The rules issued before the curfew very unclear but according to the state, restaurants, bar & food industry workers are classified as essential. #nycurfew #NYCPolice pic.twitter.com/OyZVuDkPuM
— Kirsti Karttunen (@KirstiKarttunen) June 5, 2020
De Blasio was angry enough to reach out to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
“Just got off the phone with @NYPDShea after seeing the troubling video of a delivery worker arrested by police while doing his job,” de Blasio tweeted just after midnight. “This is NOT acceptable and must stop. Food delivery is essential work and is EXEMPTED from the curfew.”
Police sources said the unnamed worker was not making a delivery run when he was stopped, nor had he made deliveries all day.
When he was asked to leave the area, he refused and mouthed off to cops, sources said.
Just got off the phone with @NYPDShea after seeing the troubling video of a delivery worker arrested by police while doing his job. This is NOT acceptable and must stop. Food delivery is essential work and is EXEMPTED from the curfew.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 5, 2020
Police held him in custody for several hours but ultimately let him go without criminal charges or a summons.
“He is a delivery worker, but he was not performing his job last night,” an NYPD official said. “We used our discretion and did not issue him a summons. Instead, we sent him home.”
But a spokesman for Door Dash, which owns the app-based delivery service Caviar, said according to company records “the courier was doing deliveries during the evening the incident took place.”
“Under the City’s curfew order, food delivery workers are deemed ‘essential’ and permitted to travel to and from work and to be in public while performing their work while the curfew is in effect,” the spokesman said. “We are gathering information and are in contact with City officials to determine what transpired.”
“Essential workers must be able to complete their work and feel safe and secure while doing so, and we are prepared to provide them with our support,” the spokesman said.