New Jersey authorities broke up a funeral with around 60 to 70 people on Wednesday night in Lakewood and gave citations to a number of people.
NJ.com reports that Ocean City authorities broke up the gathering on Eighth Street and Madison Avenue, near a Jewish temple and cemetery. The incident reportedly marks the fourth day in a row that Lakewood authorities have had to break up large gatherings amid the city’s coronavirus lockdown.
“This gathering was in violation of (Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order), which bans gatherings of individuals, whether they be at weddings, parties, celebrations, or other social events including funerals,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Police Chief Gregory Meyer said.
“To be blunt, ignoring the governor’s order places lives at risk – not just the lives of everyday citizens, but the lives of our brave men and women in law enforcement who are required to respond in order to break up these unlawful gatherings,” Billhimer added.
According to police, when officers tried to break up the gathering, the crowd became “unruly and argumentative.”
NBC New York reports that a 100-year-old man was among 15 people who are now facing criminal charges for attending the funeral gathering. A 99-year-old was also cited, while one man was arrested for giving false information.
During a daily press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy said he would “name and shame” anyone violating the law and wouldn’t hesitate to charge them.
New Jersey currently has over 22,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 and a confirmed 355 deaths.
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