ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is having a hard time getting sheriffs across the state on board with enforcing his 10-person limit on Thanksgiving dinners — his latest effort to suppress the Empire State’s rising coronavirus rate.
“I don’t believe as a law enforcement officer you have a right to pick and choose what laws you will enforce,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday during an Albany-based press conference.
But a slew of upstate sheriffs have already declared they won’t be checking up on gatherings come Turkey Day, arguing limited resources and other public safety priorities trump “counting cars” in driveways and “investigating” how much turkey and dressing a household may purchase.
The third-term Democrat mimicked the defying cops: “‘Well I don’t believe in that law and therefore I won’t enforce it.’”
“That is frankly frightening to me as an individual, frightening to democracy, it’s arrogant and a violation of constitutional duty. “I didn’t say: I swear to uphold the laws that I agree with. I didn’t say that,” he continued.
“‘If I don’t agree with a law, then I’m not gonna enforce that law.’ No. Doesn’t matter what my opinion is, I’m a law enforcement officer. I enforce the laws. I don’t get to pick and choose.”
The move has ruffled the likes of politicians as well, including Staten Island Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli, who tweeted last week he’s already planning on having a party with over 10 guests — daring a crackdown.
Cuomo blasts cops for going maskless, refusal to enforce indoor cap
Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted his own NYPD has too much on their plate to creep on individual parties, arguing he will be focusing on an educational campaign so New Yorkers can make informed decisions on their own.
However, the Mayor said busting up bigger pow-wows and gatherings fall under the purview of the NYC Sheriff’s Office, staffed at 150 members.
State officials have announced ramped up COVID-19 restrictions over the last several weeks, as New York’s infection rate has crept up past 3 percent, hospitalization totals have surpassed 2,000 individuals and additional “micro-cluster” infection hotspots have spread from the five boroughs to parts of Upstate.
*story by The New York Post