Detroit police: Property owners will get social distancing violation ticket if crowd gathers

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, Detroit is cracking down on social distancing violations -- now issuing owners of properties where people gather citations.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Friday announced a crackdown on these social distancing violations amid the governor’s stay-at-home order.

One issue police were running into is when officers would break up gatherings, people would scatter and they were unable to issue tickets. Now, the owner of the property where the gathering took place will receive the citation. 

Detroit Police Assistant Chief James White said over the weekend, the department checked out 792 locations, gave out 369 warnings, and issued 74 tickets. Officers broke up nine parties, including five BBQs. 

Police also spoke with non-exempt businesses breaking social distancing requirements, including a beauty salon that had 50 members of the community lined up outside. 

“We found that to be incredibly irresponsible of that business owner,” White said. 


Duggan said he drove from the end of the city to the other and from Chandler to Rouge to Palmer Park, saw a vast improvement in social distancing. 

“It was actually beautiful to see,” the mayor said.

Officials were concerned they might have to shut down parks after noticing major violations, even going so far as to remove basketball hoops from 18 parks.

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According to Denise Fair, Chief Public Health Officer of the Detroit Health Department, 5,032 confirmed cases and 196 deaths, which is 476 more cases and 29 more deaths than Sunday.


Duggan said 154 officers so far have tested positive for COVID-19, 400 are quarantined, and 328 have returned to work. In addition, 43 Detroit firefighters have tested positive, 79 are quarantined, and 45 have returned to work.


“We are probably running the most successful drive-thru testing,” Duggan said Monday.

He confirmed they tested 800 people on Monday at the State Fairgrounds and should soon be up to 1,000. 

The mayor said the first six people have taken advantage of the $2 transportation to the fairgrounds the city launched on Friday.

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