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NEW YORK, September 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he intends to crack down “aggressively” on people not wearing a mask in New York City amid the coronavirus measures still in place.
During yesterday’s briefing, de Blasio said, “Anyone who is not wearing a face covering will be offered one, will be reminded it is required. And anyone who refuses to wear a face covering will be told that if they don’t put one on, they will be fined, and anyone who still refuses will be fined.”
“So that will happen aggressively,” the mayor emphasized. “Clearly, our goal, of course, is to give everyone a free face mask, and get them to wear it. We don’t want to fine people. If we have to, we will, and that will be starting on a large scale today.”
The mayor’s announcement came on the heels of a more aggressive handling of people refusing to wear a mask in other parts of the country.
In Moscow, Idaho, three people were arrested for breaking social distancing rules during a local church’s singing protest against the city’s mask mandate, which requires masks to be worn in both indoor and outdoor settings when social distancing isn’t possible. The event was reportedly attended by about 150 people who sang psalms together.
Video footage shows police officers arresting local music teacher Sean Bohnet and his wife Rachel, as well as Gabriel Rench, a host of a Christian political YouTube talk show and a candidate for county commissioner, while fellow churchgoers continued to sing.
One of the videos shows Bohnet and Rench explaining to police officers that they will not comply with a police order – which can’t be heard over the singing around them. According to the local Moscow Report, the couple was arrested for refusing to show the police any identification.
In Logan, Ohio, a woman was tased and arrested because she didn’t wear a mask while seated outdoors attending her son’s football game. “Alecia Kitts drove an hour and a half from Marietta to Logan, Ohio to watch her son’s football game,” Ohio Star reported.
In a video of the incident, a police officer approaches Kitts while she is seated with her family and attempts to place handcuffs on her. The officer proceeds to grapple with Kitts for two minutes, attempting to apply the handcuffs while she insists she has done nothing wrong.
After two minutes, the officer applies a taser to her back, with Kitts shrieking as she falls from her seat to the ground and onlookers who had until that point remained silent rising to object to her treatment. The officer then handcuffs Kitts and escorts her from the stadium.
In Victoria, Australia, a video has emerged of a 69-year-old grandmother being arrested while attempting to film another woman being arrested for refusing to wear a mask.
The 69-year-old woman became extremely distressed when police officers took her phone and placed her in handcuffs. After eventually being released, the woman then broke down and began sobbing on the ground after being interviewed by local media.
Meanwhile, in New York, de Blasio is known for his aggressive language during the COVID-19 crisis.
In March, he said churches could be closed down permanently if people are gathering for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend — if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” de Blasio announced during a press conference streamed online.
In case of disobedience, law enforcement “will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently,” de Blasio added.
“Again, I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but anyone who’s hearing this, take it seriously. You’ve been warned, you need to stop services. Help people practice their faiths in different ways, but not in groups, not in gatherings that could endanger people.”
The mayor said he understands “how important people’s faiths are to them, and we need our faiths in this time of crisis.” At the same time, he said, “we do not need gatherings that will endanger people.”
“No faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith,” de Blasio said. “So the NYPD, fire department, buildings department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse.”
In April, de Blasio tweeted, “Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw 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,” he added. “Period.”