'Come on, folks.' - Gov. Murphy pleads after police break up massive party in Jackson

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey police needed about five hours on Sunday to break up a party of more than 700 people in an Ocean County neighborhood.

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2020, 9:50 PM

Updated 1,400 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey police needed about five hours on Sunday to break up a party of more than 700 people in an Ocean County neighborhood.
Police say two party organizers and the owner of the Jackson home were cited over violating an executive order capping indoor gatherings at 100 people at maximum. During a news conference on the coronavirus outbreak, Murphy pleaded with people to use good judgment and avoid indoor gatherings.
“Cops spent nearly five hours breaking up a party of over 700 people. Come on, folks,” Murphy said.
Murphy ordered outdoor gatherings capped at 500 people because of the outbreak, with indoor gatherings limited to 25% of capacity or 100 people at most.
“When the max capacity is 500 and there’s 700-plus people there, it’s just unacceptable and moreover, it’s just not safe,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan.
A separate party was broken up in Middletown last week where at least 20 young people in attendance contracted COVID-19. Officials say that they think that that the coronavirus restrictions are contributing to summer beach parties going underground.
“I do think that with bars and indoor dining shut, there are gatherings at homes. But to the governor’s point, if they’re outside social distancing, it can be done in a safe manner,” Callahan said.
Lockdowns have also separated those who need help with substance abuse from sponsors, programs and contact with loved ones.
“Overdoses, it’s an issue,” says Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “We have seen an uptick, primarily with overdoses from fentanyl.”
Murphy said that politics do not play a role in the decisions he has made since the pandemic began.
“I literally don’t care. Either their politics or mine or what consequences there are from any action we take. We’re going to keep focused the best we can on the data, the sciences, the facts, and try to save as many lives as we can. Period,” Murphy said.
The current limit for outdoor gathering remains at 500. Indoor gatherings are limited to 100 people.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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