This is the moment more than 10 NYPD cops surrounded a mother and her son at a table in a Queen’s Applebee’s, before kicking them out of the restaurant for not having vaccination cards during a clash with mass anti-vaccine mandate protesters.
Video footage shows the officers, who have been accused of ‘traumatizing’ and ‘scaring’ the child, surrounding the young family at their table during a protest at Queens Centre Mall.
Dozens of anti-vaccine mandate protesters had staged a ‘sit-in’ at the restaurant after they were refused service for not proving their vaccination status, as part of a series of demonstrations against the rules.
‘Unless you have vaccination cards, you have to exit the restaurant,’ an officer could be heard saying.
The little boy looks as if he is about to cry before he covers his face while the police talk to the family after the restaurant called the cops because of the protest.
This is the moment more than 10 NYPD cops surrounded a mother and her son at a table in a Queen’s Applebee’s, before kicking them out of the restaurant for not having vaccination cards
The little boy looks as if he is about to cry before he covers his face while the police talk to the family
A group of demonstrators, who had been protesting against vaccine mandates, could be heard shouting at the NYPD officers as they asked the family to leave the busy restaurant.
‘Scaring a child. Traumatizing a child. Hope you feel good about yourselves NYPD,’ one person can be heard shouting.
‘This is disgusting, this is gross,’ one protester could be heard saying.
In New York City, people aged five and older are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor dining, including restaurants, catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and grocery stores with indoor dining.
One officer, addressing the group of protesters, said: ‘If you leave voluntarily you will not have charges pressed against you.
‘Otherwise you will be arrested for trespass. This will be your only warning.’
A group of demonstrators, who had been protesting against vaccine mandates, could be heard shouting at the NYPD officers as they asked the family to leave the busy restaurant
A group of demonstrators had sat down in the Applebee’s restaurant on December 15 at about 9pm and refused to leave after staff refused to serve them after they had not shown their vaccination passes, reported The Sunnyside Post.
The NYPD had been called to the scene by the restaurant staff following a disturbance, reported Newsweek.
‘Upon arrival, officers were informed by the manager that individuals entered, refused to prove vaccination status in compliance with NYS Mandate and requested for the individuals to be removed from the location,’ the NYPD said.
The police added that four people were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. But the mother and child were not charged.
Video footage, taken by photographer Leeroy Johnson, showed police officers restraining protesters inside the venue, with one man saying it was ‘unbelievable’ as he was escorted out by officers.
In the clip, groups of protesters are heard chanting ‘no more mandate’, while one protester continued to shout as he was restrained by a number of officers.
A day earlier, a group of around 50 anti-vaccine mandate protesters staged a ‘sit-in’ at the Cheesecake Factory in the same Queens Center Mall after they were refused service for not proving their vaccination status.
Six people were arrested after the group of protesters, which included young children, refused to leave.
War veteran Mitchell Bosch, one of the people who was arrested, told the TV channel the group staged a non-violent protest in the restaurant and the police were called at around 7pm when they refused to leave.
Six people were arrested in the Cheesecake Factory in Queens Center Mall on December 15 and four were arrested in Applebee’s (pictured), in the same Queens mall, the following day
Six people – Bosch, Eric Bascon, 38, Graig Young, 37, Augusto Alarcon, 39, Raymond Velez, 36, and Steven Wavra, 67 – were arrested at 9.45pm and cited for criminal trespassing, according to the New York Police Department.
The groups at Applebee’s and the Cheesecake Factory are both believed to be part of the the New York Freedom Rally, with social media posts from the group referencing both protests.
Alethea Rowe, the Cheesecake Factory’s public relations senior director, told MailOnline: ‘This was an unfortunate incident. The company is simply complying with the local ordinance concerning Covid-19 vaccine requirements.
‘We would like to thank our restaurant managers and staff for remaining focused on providing our guests with delicious, memorable food, and would like to thank local law enforcement for their support during this time.’
An DCPI spokesperson said: ‘On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at approximately 1900 hours, police responded to a 911 call for Criminal Trespass inside of at 90-15 Queens Boulevard (Cheesecake Factory) in the confines of the 110 Precinct.
‘Upon arrival officers observed a large group of individuals at the location. A 35 year-old female complainant reported that the group entered the establishment and request to be seated, upon her requesting the group to show her proof of vaccination they all refused and they also refused to leave the premises as requested several times.
‘Officers gave several lawful orders to the group to leave the location which they refused. Six protestors were placed under arrest without any further incident at 2145 hours after refusing to comply to a lawful order.’
Bosch, 42, whose six-week-old daughter was present at the Cheesecake Factory sit-in protest, described the vaccine mandates as ‘unconstitutional and unpatriotic’.
‘We cannot stop the economy and human society based off of this. This is illogical and in my opinion, immoral,’ he added.
Raymond Velez, who was also arrested in the incident, accused employees of selectively enforcing the mandate.
He told Fox News: ‘There was another gentleman there who was already at the bar who didn’t have a vaccination card who was already served.’
New York has some of the strictest rules across the US to combat Covid-19, requiring employees and customers over 12 have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at indoor dining, fitness and entertainment facilities.
The mandate has been in place since September, with the exception of for children under 12.
But from Tuesday, children aged five to 11 will also have to prove they have had at least one dose.
After Christmas, a second proviso of the policy kicks in, with all New Yorkers aged 12 and older required to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one, from December 27.
New York City is facing a surge in Covid cases, with over 27,000 infections recorded on Tuesday alone while over 2,300 people were hospitalized with coronavirus, according to the state’s most recent count.
On Christmas Day Saturday, 19 percent of the city’s 4,000 workers were out sick as Omicron spreads with those still at work called out to help unvaccinated COVID patients.
New York is seeing a surge in new COVID cases as a result of the Omicron variant, with 44,431 new cases and a 12.4 percent positivity rate on Thursday.
In New York City, there had been 12,900 new diagnoses across the five boroughs on Friday with 259 hospitalizations.