Police are prepared to begin stopping people who they suspect might be fleeing from one state to another in fear of coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s happening in New York as we speak, and they even considered closing the border. But what they are doing is something that’s unnerving to many.
According to reporting from Bloomberg, police in Rhode Island are stopping people with New York plates. With the assistance of the National Guard, they will “conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.”
Other neighboring states are complaining about fleeing New Yorkers and telling them to stay where they are as the city explodes as the USA’s epicenter of the pandemic. Black people are more likely to be stopped by police already, so new dynamics like this could spell trouble.
It’s one thing to be racially profiled, but when you bring geographic location and public health orders into it, that’s a new realm many have yet to experience. As states continue to have increased tensions and problems, we’ll see new developments in who is and who isn’t welcome.
Black people have to be extra aware of these circumstances because our experiences with police are just not the same as others. Furthermore, we have to remember to follow important guidelines when it comes to travel and social distancing.