A New Jersey father has shared his outrage after being confronted by a police officer while in an empty park where he’d taken his two young children to play.
Josh Duvall took his children, aged five and two, to the park to play in Cherry Hill on Sunday, but a homeowner nearby reported them to cops claiming they could make people sick.
He said they were the only ones there but were approached by a cop who told them that a homeowner nearby had called the police, claiming the family was putting lives at risk by going there.
Parks reopened in New Jersey on May 2.
In a video he posted on Facebook, Duvall fumed: ‘Is there anybody here? No. I pay $8,000 a year in property taxes. My kids want to play in the park, they want to play on this hill.
‘The police officer was super nice, he said he had to come out and do a report, but this is nonsense.
‘This is Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and you’ve got people calling the police on a dad and two kids because they want to play outside?
‘Who’s going to get sick? There’s nobody here!’
He later told NJ.com: ‘You are telling me I can go down to Ocean City and go on to the boardwalk and go on the beach, or I can stand in line at Home Depot with 100 people around the building, which I had to do two weeks ago. That is fine.
‘But to be in a park by yourself with literally nobody there – it is just madness.
‘I think common sense says stay away from people, get your kids outside, have fun, and get some fresh air. Nobody is around.
‘Yes, this is really serious, but calling the police on our neighbors and locking everybody in their houses indefinitely is not the solution.’
New Jersey is partially reopening by allowing people to enjoy open spaces again, including parks.
For weeks, playgrounds and parks were closed.
The state has seen more than 148,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 10,000 deaths.
As more states start to gradually soften rules, there is a growing divide between people who think it is too soon and who want to continue with various forms of lock down, and those who are eager to get back to work and not as nervous.
The disparity is manifesting itself in politics as well as among the general public, with some Democrat leaders taking longer to reopen than Republicans.