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.
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: August 11, 2020 – 9:43am 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|
|1||Federal||Public Health and Welfare Act||The Surgeon General, with the approval of the Secretary, is authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the Stat||For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘‘State’’ includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia. (2) For purposes of this subsection, the term "qualifying stage’’, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such dise|
|2||Alabama||mandatory||mandatory||permitted with social distancing||Recommended to minimize||Mandatory 14-day quarantine after COVID-19 diagnosis||https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/07/Safer-at-Home-Order-Final-7.29.20.pdf||ORDER OF THE STATE HEALTH OFFICER SUSPENDING CERTAIN PUBLIC GATHERINGS DUE TO RISK OF INFECTION BY COVID-19||ORDER OF THE STATE HEALTH OFFICER SUSPENDING CERTAIN PUBLIC GATHERINGS DUE TO RISK OF INFECTION BY COVID-19||Misdemeanor: fine of $50 to $500. Such punishment applies to individuals who violate quarantine orders, those required to provide notification of notifiable diseases who willfully neglect to do so, anyone who knowingly transports a person or thing in viol||Effective July 16, 2020, each person shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when within six feet of a person from another household in the following places: public indoor space, public transports,||Face covering requirement does not apply to: any person six years old or younger, any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents him or her from wearing one, any person eating or drinking or seated at a restaurant to eat or drink, any per|
|3||Alabama||Ala. Code § 22.12.1 to 22.12.29; § 22.11A.7||§ 22.12.1-22.12.29: Violation of a health or quarantine law: misdemeanor. Fine of $50 to $500 for individuals who violate quarantine orders, those required to provide notification of notifiable diseases who willfully neglect to do so, anyone who knowingly||§ 22.11A.7: Police Power & Limitations. An officer or guard carrying out a quarantine may arrest without warrant anyone who attempts to violate quarantine regulations and move them to the designated detention area or in front of an officer with jurisdicti||§ 22.12.1 to 22.12.29: Any person who makes affidavit before a quarantine officer or guard, engaged in enforcing quarantine for the protection of a place which said person wishes to enter, and who furnishes such other evidence as may be prescribed by the|
|4||Alabama||Birmingham (Jefferson County)||mandatory||mandatory||permitted with social distancing||Recommended to minimize||Mandatory 14-day quarantine after COVID-19 diagnosis||https://www.jcdh.org/SitePages/Misc/PdfViewer?AdminUploadId=804||Order of the Jefferson County Health Officer Requiring the Wearing of Face Coverings in Public Places||Order of the Jefferson County Health Officer Requiring the Wearing of Face Coverings in Public Places||Fine of up to $500.00 and/or up to thirty (30) days in the municipal jail.||Following Alabama's mask order. Jefferson County's face covering order applies to Birmingham, Alabama. Face masks must be worn in indoor spaces of business or venues available to the public, public transportation including taxi and ride-shares, and outdoo||Exceptions to the face mask order: A face mask shall not be required for children 2 years old and under, people eating or drinking, medical examinations or procedures, when necessary to provide hair care, to persons who the mask poses a greater mental of|
|5||Alabama||Montgomery||mandatory||mandatory||permitted with social distancing||Recommended to minimize||Mandatory 14-day quarantine after COVID-19 diagnosis||https://www.montgomeryal.gov/home/showdocument?id=13213||AN ORDINANCE TO REQUIRE WEARING MASKS IN PUBLIC IN THE CITY OF MONTGOMERY DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY||AN ORDINANCE TO REQUIRE WEARING MASKS IN PUBLIC IN THE CITY OF MONTGOMERY DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY||Fine of up to $500.00 and/or up to one hundred eighty (180) days in the municipal jail.||Anyone entering a City of Montgomery building will be required to wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing. Face coverings, masks or shields shall be worn at all times over the nostrils and mouth by persons over the age of 6 and who can||Face coverings or masks are not required during individual outdoor exercise but must be worn when interacting with groups of other people. Children 6 and under are not required to wear a mask. Patients in examination rooms of medical or dental offices or|
|6||Alaska||recommended||recommended||Mandatory after out-of-state travel; COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms, or exposure||https://covid19.alaska.gov/health-mandates/||Alaska Health Mandates||Alaska Health Mandates||At this time, Alaska does not mandate the general use of masks, limit group size, or business operation, but does encourage all Alaskans to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19. Private companies and entities can enact their own requirements. In-||No one traveling to or from any community for Critical Infrastructure/Essential Services reasons or Critical Personal Needs travel may be subject to any automatic quarantine or isolation on arrival, except as allowed under Alaska Statutes or Health Mandat|
|7||Alaska||Alaska Stat. § 26.23.020; § 18.15.385; § 9.50.250||§ 18.15.385: Anyone who knowingly violates a regulation pertaining to quarantine or isolation is guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Anyone who intentionally violates such a regulation is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.||§ 9.50.250: Police Power & Limitations. The department must allow isolation in the personal home if it would not jeopardize public health. If individuals do not consent to quarantine or isolation, a superior court order must be granted. The department sh||§ 26.23.020: Authority. The governor can declare a disaster emergency, including in the event of a disease outbreak. He or she can control entry and exit of an area and movement of persons or occupancy of premises within the area. The Department of Health|
|8||Alaska||Anchorage||mandatory||mandatory||15 people max indoor; 25 people max outdoors if food or drink are being consumed, 50 people max outdoors if no food or drink.||No restrictions||Mandatory after out-of-state travel; COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms, or exposure||https://www.muni.org/covid-19/documents/eo-15_signed.pdf||Proclamation of Additional Emergency Order EO-15||Proclamation of Additional Emergency Order EO-15||EO-14 puts additional limits on gatherings. EO-13 mandates the use of cloth face coverings or masks. All individuals must wear masks or cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths when they are indoors in public settings or communal spaces outside th||The mask order does not apply to the following categories of people or activities: any child under the age of 2 years; any child under the age of 12 years unless a parent or caregiver supervises the use of face coverings by the child; Any child in a child|
|9||Arizona||recommended||recommended||50 people max||No restrictions||Mandatory after COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms, or exposure||https://azgovernor.gov/executive-orders||Executive Order 2020-52||Executive Order 2020-52||Executive Order 2020-52 extended 2020-43. The governor issued an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory has been renewed -- EO 2020-48 -- that authorizes the Arizona Department of Health Services and local health authority to access confidential patient informati|
|10||Arizona||Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 36.788-789; § 36.630, 737; § 36.624, 732||§ 36.630, 737: Penalties. Knowingly or intentionally exposing others to infection or attempting to leave quarantine or isolation is a class 2 misdemeanor. Obstructing an investigation, making a false report, or knowingly assisting someone else in violatin||§ 36.624, 732: Police Power and Limitations. No treatment shall be provided against the will of an individual provided they cooperate with quarantine and sanitation orders. If an individual under quarantine is shown to no longer pose a public health risk,||Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 36.788-789: Authority. The governor, along with the state director of health services, has primary authority in a state of emergency involving possible infectious disease. If investigation reveals a suspicion of a highly contagious dise|
|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 email@example.com. 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: August 11, 2020 9:43am EDT
|wdt_ID||Date||Age||Race||Gender||First Nation/ State/Territory||Municipality||Enforcement Action by Police or other Law Enforcement||Description||Media Link|
|1||08/06/2020||25||Latinx||man||Texas||Laredo||arrested||A man allegedly assaulted a store clerk because he was refused service for not wearing a face covering. The man was charged with two counts of assault and one county of interfering with an emergency call.||https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/0808-LMT-FACEMASK-ARREST-15467110.php|
|2||08/06/2020||31||white||man||Florida||Plantation||arrested||Gym owner arrested over his refusal to enforce the use of masks inside his business. This is the third time the man was arrested over a violation of Broward County's emergency order. He is facing misdemeanor charges for violating emergency-management rule||https://www.local10.com/news/local/2020/08/07/gym-owner-arrested-again-in-broward-over-face-masks/|
|3||08/05/2020||61||Black||man||Tennessee||Nashville||arrested||A man was issued a citation for not wearing a mask around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday. About an hour later, the police report states an officer saw Bryant again in the same area. Again, he wasn't wearing a mask. According to the arrest report, the officer said he||https://www.newschannel5.com/news/man-arrested-for-violating-nashvilles-mask-mandate|
|4||08/02/2020||47||white||man||Florida||Treasure Island||arrested||A man is accused of grabbing a child wearing a mask at a restaurant, getting close to the child's face and telling him "you now have coronavirus." The man was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct after the incident.||https://www.tampabay.com/news/crime/2020/08/04/you-now-have-coronavirus-man-tells-boy-at-treasure-island-restaurant-police-say/|
|5||08/01/2020||man||New York||Manhattan||arrested||The captain and owners of a popular Manhattan party boat were arrested for defying COVID-19 social distancing mandates and going for a crowded booze cruise.||https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-owners-captain-arrested-liberty-belle-party-boat-20200802-7kifqs65vnhtti5bfjm3rzd6uu-story.html|
|6||08/01/2020||man||New York||Manhattan||The captain and owners of a popular Manhattan party boat were arrested for defying COVID-19 social distancing mandates and going for a crowded booze cruise.||https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-owners-captain-arrested-liberty-belle-party-boat-20200802-7kifqs65vnhtti5bfjm3rzd6uu-story.html|
|7||08/01/2020||man||New York||Manhattan||The captain and owners of a popular Manhattan party boat were arrested for defying COVID-19 social distancing mandates and going for a crowded booze cruise.||https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-owners-captain-arrested-liberty-belle-party-boat-20200802-7kifqs65vnhtti5bfjm3rzd6uu-story.html|
|8||07/31/2020||man||Maryland||Olney||ticketed||A restaurant employee was spat on in a dispute over wearing a face mask. A man entered the restaurant without a mask and was told by a restaurant employee to cover his face. Employee and the man got into a verbal altercation and the suspect then allegedly||https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/08/a-restaurant-confrontation-over-face-masks/|
|9||07/30/2020||30||white||woman||Hawaii||Hilo||arrested||Police arrested and charged a Utah couple for violating the state’s 14-day quarantine order. The couple told police that they believed that they were exempt from the quarantine order. Police officials investigated the claim and found that the two were not||https://www.khon2.com/coronavirus/utah-couple-arrested-charged-for-allegedly-violating-quarantine-order/|
|10||07/30/2020||31||white||man||Hawaii||Hilo||arrested||Police arrested and charged a Utah couple for violating the state’s 14-day quarantine order. The couple told police that they believed that they were exempt from the quarantine order. Police officials investigated the claim and found that the two were not||https://www.khon2.com/coronavirus/utah-couple-arrested-charged-for-allegedly-violating-quarantine-order/|
|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