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Transportation Agencies Should Hand Out Face Masks, Rather Use Police to Arrest Violators, Says Kaplan

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As face-covering enforcement begins in the Bay Area, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and region-wide officials to act to have BART stations and other transit centers to provide face coverings, rather than focusing resources on arrests and police response.

“I am calling for a proactive and equitable distribution of face coverings on public transportation. Proactively providing face coverings is essential to keeping our communities healthy,” said Kaplan in a media release.

“We must be cautious not to criminalize those who may not afford or have not found face coverings,” she said. “We have seen such examples of over-policing in other cities, a man was dragged off of a bus by police because he didn’t have a face covering.  The majority of those who are using public transportation are essential workers or are using public transportation to go to essential services.”

“As we know people are having financial hardships, our community needs our support not policing,” said Kaplan

On April 17, Alameda County and other Bay Area Health Officers issued an order for the public and workers to wear face coverings to control the spread of COVID -19.  This order became enforceable on Wednesday of this week.

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