Why track COVID19 Policing?
Across the United States, emergency “shelter in place,” “stay at home,” “social distancing,” and quarantine orders in response to the COVID19 pandemic are being enforced through aggressive policing, steep fines, criminal charges, and harsh penalties. Officers – who have some of the highest rates of infection – are violating social distancing rules to harass, ticket, and take people into custody. Even a brief encounter with an officer or short detention in a police car can dramatically increase risk of infection, and that risk increases in a holding cell or jail where people are unable to maintain social distancing and have little or no access to soap, water, and sanitizer.
Instead of offering our communities the information and support we need to stay safe, these policing tactics place individuals and communities at increased risk of violence and infection. Rather than investing resources in community organizations and building networks of support and safety, public officials are doubling down on policing and punishment, targeting communities bearing the brunt of the pandemic: Black, Indigenous and Brown communities, migrants, and other essential workers, low and no-income, unhoused, young, and disabled people. In the midst of unprecedented economic devastation and the highest rates of unemployment in our lifetimes, cities and states are imposing exorbitant fines and offering people rewards to turn in our neighbors instead of reaching out to support them.
Communities are fighting for a world where we keep ourselves and each other safe, without surveillance, policing, or punishment. We are building networks of mutual aid, sewing masks for essential workers, and documenting and calling out aggressive and abusive policing in the midst of a pandemic. This website offers tools and resources for individuals and communities to stay safe and to mobilize for what we need – instead of more cops, stops, tickets, cuffs and cells.
Report Out Now!
Read our newly released report, UNMASKED: Impacts of Pandemic Policing.
Sign up to receive updates from the COVID19 Policing Project. Our team sends out analysis and resources in an email update every two weeks.
You can also view previous updates:
The Pandemic of Policing (PDF)
Laws, Orders, and Enforcement
Wondering what orders are in place where you live? What the penalties are for violations? Who is enforcing them? What exceptions exist? What organizations to contact for help?
Check this database of emergency and public health laws in place to prevent the spread of COVID19. You can filter results by state, municipality (where separate orders exist), and mandated or prohibited activity. Click on a row to see a pop up of all the information, or just scroll to the right! To find complete relevant language from the statute or order and links to the full documents, you can download the whole database.
Data updated: October 15, 2020 – 9:48pm EDT
COVID19 Public Health Orders
|wdt_ID||Jurisdiction||Municipality||Facial Covering||Maintain 6 feet distance||Gatherings||Curfew||Travel||Quarantine||Links||COVID-19 Orders/Legislation||COVID-19 Orders/Legislation||Permanent Quarantine Laws||Penalties||Enforcement||Relevant language||Exemptions|
|Jurisdiction||Municipality||Facial Covering||Maintain 6 feet distance||Gatherings||Curfew||Travel||Quarantine|
Maintain 6 feet distance:
Permanent Quarantine Laws:
Stops, Fines & Arrests
We are building a comprehensive and secure searchable database of enforcement actions based on news reports, self-reports and reports from Cop Watch, legal, and community organizations, and Freedom of Information Requests which will be available in the coming month.
In the meantime, check out the database below for a compilation of news reports about enforcement actions. This database is mostly based on media reports and does not represent a complete collection of enforcement actions to date. By tracking incidents and emerging patterns of policing under COVID-19, we hope to provide useful information while recognizing that media reports often misrepresent the complex identities and lived realities of our communities. To report a stop, ticket, or arrest, please use the REPORT button, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in the subject line whether you need immediate support.
You can filter results in the enforcement tracker by date, age, race, gender, state, city, and type of enforcement – just click on a row to see a pop up of all the information in that row or scroll to the right to find the link to the original news story. If you would like to download the ENTIRE database, reset/clear all filters and “Show ‘ALL’ entries” (at the top left of the table). Then click the Excel, CSV, or PDF button to export.
Data updated: October 8, 2020 9:49pm EDT
|wdt_ID||Date||Age||Race||Gender||First Nation/ State/Territory||Municipality||Enforcement Action by Police or other Law Enforcement||Description||Media Link|
|Date||Age||Race||Gender||First Nation/ State/Territory||Municipality||Enforcement Action by Police or other Law Enforcement|
First Nation/ State/Territory:
Enforcement Action by Police or other Law Enforcement:
Resources on criminalization and COVID19
- Know Your Rights During COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Cop Watch During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Demands to End Broken Windows Policing During COVID-19
- Policing in a Time of Pandemic: Recommendations for Law Enforcement
- An Abolitionist Platform Toward Healthy Communities Now and Beyond COVID-19
- Movement for Black Lives COVID19 Platform
- COVID Racial Data Tracker
- Mutual Aid Hub
- American Public Health Association FAQ on COVID19 and Policing
- More COVID19 resources