March 25, 2020 / 8:12 PM / 10 days ago

False claim: Video shows armored military vehicles driving in New York City to enforce curfew due to coronavirus; those caught in the streets after curfew hours without “essential worker” letter will be arrested and fined $2000

Posts shared on social media (here) show a video of armored military vehicles driving in New York City. Some claim, “Starting tomorrow [Sunday, March 22, 2020], If You Are CAUGHT In The Streets AFTER CURFEW HOURS & DONT Have An ‘ESSENTIAL WORKER’ Letter You Will Be ARRESTED & ThereAfter HIT With A $ 2000 FINE.” This claim is false and the video in the claim is over five years old.

Though the post implies that the video in the claim is recent, the footage actually comes from a video uploaded to YouTube ( youtu.be/54v9DiGKRUA) on December 8, 2014. The video’s caption reads, “HERE YOU WILL SEE A UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES MINI CONVOY LEAVING AFTER PARTICIPATING IN THE VETERANS DAY PARADE IN THE MIDTOWN AREA OF MANHATTAN IN NEW YORK CITY.”

There are currently no curfew hours in place for New York City due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nearby city of Hoboken, New Jersey has issued a night curfew requiring residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., “except for emergencies, or if you are required to work by your employer,” according to Mayor Ravi Bhalla. However, New York City has not followed suit as of March 24, 2020. (here)   

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on March 16, 2020 that “everything’s on the table” when it comes to a possible citywide curfew or road and bridge closures (here). Two days later, the mayor said that he was “almost to the point” of recommending to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that the city implement a “shelter-in-place” policy that would have people stay in their homes (here).

On March 20, Governor Cuomo ordered (here) all non-essential workers to stay home and all non-essential businesses to close by 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. The definition of “essential businesses” for the purpose of this executive order can be found here .

At a briefing in Albany, N.Y. (here) on March 20, Cuomo said, “These provisions will be enforced. These are not helpful hints.” NBC reported here that “restrictions will be enforced with civil fines and mandatory closures of businesses not in compliance."

As for individuals who ignore the mandates, Governor Cuomo said that they would not receive civil fines (here). Mayor de Blasio said that the NYPD would instruct groups of people gathering outside to practice social distancing and ask them to disperse.

The video seems to suggest current U.S. military presence in New York City due to the coronavirus pandemic. While that is not represented in this particular video, it is true that President Donald Trump said on Sunday, March 22 that the National Guard would help New York, California and Washington state respond to the coronavirus crisis by providing medical supplies and building out medical facilities (here).

If New York City did impose a curfew, it is not yet clear how it would be enforced. In the case of shelter-in-place orders in Washington, D.C., NPR reported here that “most states have made violating the orders a misdemeanor, often punishable by a fine.” NPR mentions Maryland state and local police could arrest those who don’t comply, in the case of the nation’s capital.

VERDICT

False: This video is from 2014 and shows a U.S. military convoy leaving the Veterans’ Day Parade in New York City. As of March 25 2020 there is no curfew imposed on New York City residents due to the coronavirus pandemic. The National Guard is currently providing New York with medical facilities and supplies. 

 

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here .

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