Coronavirus: Tensions rise as New York police crack down on crowded funeral

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NEW YORK — Tensions between police and members of New York City’s Hasidic Jewish community flared again Thursday as officers interrupted a crowded funeral procession to crack down on social distancing violators.

Video posted on social media showed officers in protective masks chasing a minivan through Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood as it carried the body of a deceased rabbi. The officers can be heard shouting at dozens of people marching behind the van to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A 17-year-old boy was taken into custody and issued a summons for disorderly conduct after he was accused of pushing a police official, according to a police spokeswoman, Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell.

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Thursday’s confrontation came two days after Mayor Bill de Blasio stoked divisions with a series of tweets after he went to Brooklyn to oversee the dispersal of thousands of people who crowded the streets of Williamsburg for the funeral of another rabbi.

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New York has banned any gatherings, of any size, for any purpose as the coronavirus has been linked to at least 18,000 deaths in the city in just a few weeks.

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