UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out overnight after videos went viral on social media Thursday appearing to show a delivery worker being arrested by police in Manhattan while making a delivery past the city’s 8 p.m. curfew.
“This is not acceptable and must stop,” the mayor wrote in a tweet around midnight. “Food delivery is essential work and is exempted from the curfew,” he asserted.
De Blasio also said he had just talked to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea after seing the “troubling video” of a deliveryman “arrested while doing his job.”
According to police sources, while the NYPD did confirm the man is a delivery worker, they believe he did not made any deliveries that day, nor was he in the process of making one.
In a video of the incident, posted to Twitter around 9 p.m. by user @KirstiKarttunen, the delivery worker can be heard telling NYPD officers, “It tells me on the app I can show you something,” while police take his food delivery pack off his back.
“Are you serious?!” the man exclaims multiple times while officers appear to place the essential worker in handcuffs.
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
Police sources said cops were trying to get a crowd in the area to disperse when the man seen in the video apparently shouted at the officers and refused to abide.
In another video posted around the same time,Twitter, user @PeterNHess wrote, “NYPD offiers arrest an essential worker” near the intersection of West 108th Street and Central Park West, claiming it happened only “27 [minutes] after curfew.”
That second video, while not officially confirmed to be the same incident as the first, shows police with a bicycle and a Caviar delivery bag on the ground, as they close the back doors of a police van.
Police sources told PIX11 the NYPD decided not to issue a summons and released the man, after confirming he was indeed a delivery man.
Delivery service Caviar, owned by DoorDash, tweeted about the incident involving one of their delivery workers late Thursday night. “We’re alarmed by reports of a courier being arrested after NYC curfew,” the company wrote. “Food delivery workers are essential, exempt from curfew, and must be able to safely do their work.”
The company said they are continuing to gather information and are in touch with city officials.
“Our courier app includes information about local laws and regulations. We’re prepared to provide our community with our support,” they wrote.
Parent company DoorDash told The Verge of the incident, “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.”