Putting their children's lives at risk, these parents took them to a park. When police officers arrived, the parents verbally assaulted them.
In light of the ongoing outbreak, several states have issued stay-at-home orders and closed off public spaces, including beaches, parks, and more. In Concord, New Hampshire, playgrounds have been cordoned off in order to protect young children, who are especially vulnerable, from contracting the disease. However, it appears some parents have broken the directives and taken their children out to play. In a video uploaded to Facebook, parents are seen refusing to leave the playground after police officers enforcing the closure politely ask them to comply. The parents also cough on the cops and call them Nazis, The New Hampshire Union Leader reports. The incident has caused quite a storm online.
The standoff took place at Concord's Rollins Park. It has been marked off with caution tape to ward off any children and their families. This did not stop one family from breaking through into the playground. After some residents noticed the family in the playground, they called the police who attempted to ask the family to leave. Instead of complying, the parents involved initiated an argument. They claimed that the police did not care about the town's residents, instead, they cared about following the government's orders - like Nazis. Using this analogy, they began calling the officers "Concord Nazis." One man stated, "The governor’s orders do not surpass the Constitution of the United States."
The hostile exchange was captured on video. "You would literally be the people that rounded up the Jews in the cars," the man added later on in the video. A woman - who was recording the argument - screamed, "Are you a Nazi? Are you a Nazi?... You’re not serving and you’re not protecting!" The parents also started coughing at the officers' faces after they made a mention of the ongoing public health crisis. Throughout the entire conversation, the police officers remained composed and tried to negotiate with the parents calmly. However, when they were only met with aggression and it was clear that the parents were not going to budge, they walked away and returned to their vehicle.
One of the parents involved in the confrontation has been identified as Rochelle Kelley, a newly elected member of the We are School Board. Her decision to flout the stay-at-home orders and behave in this manner has raised concerns. Since the video surfaced online, a petition calling for her resignation has been making the rounds in parents' circles. The petition reads, "[Ms. Kelley and company] disobeyed the order and stayed [on the playground]. They finally complied, but only after Ms. Kelley or others in her presence called the officers Nazis, told them they were crackheads and argued with the officers in a disrespectful manner. Later Ms. Kelley posted videos of the confrontation on Facebook to boast about the run-in."
Police are investigating a viral video that appears to show a group of parents coughing at officers in Concord, New Hampshire, who were trying to get the families to leave a playground now closed because of coronavirus concerns.https://t.co/qzfiQk5vnm— NBC10 Boston (@NBC10Boston) May 1, 2020
Unfortunately, the school board has claimed that they are unable to remove her. School board Chair Wendy Curry explained that since her behavior did not involve school activities, they were in no position to force her resignation. "Ms. Kelley’s actions did not involve district or school board business," she stated. "Although, the actions do impact the district’s and board’s image, which is unfortunate." Kelley herself refused to resign. The parent said, "I was just trying to have a conversation with [the officers], which I now realize was stupid." She alleged she did not hear anyone call the cops Nazis, though she appeared to add "I would say that’s exactly how you’re acting right now" during the verbal altercation. At present, none of the parents have faced legal repercussions. Nonetheless, the police officers have stated that they do plan on bringing charges against the person who coughed at them.