During the pandemic, there were many people who forecast there would be an increase in crime if it became normal for people to wear face coverings and masks: now, that expectation has come true and in New York, City officials are asking to not only reverse the thinking about mask wearing in public, but to issue an outright ban on wearing them in retail settings.

New York Mayor Eric Adams says store operators should force people to take the face coverings off as they enter or not allow them in.

The mayor’s remarks come after a slate of robberies and assaults have taken place all across the country by people who are difficult to identify because their faces are covered. Adams says when you see people wearing masks in stores, it isn’t because they are afraid of catching something, but it’s because they are afraid of being caught by store cameras and identified.

Some police agencies agree with the idea of scrapping masks. As far back as two years ago police in some communities say catching suspects has gotten harder since face covering has become so acceptable, and even charity workers complained that gang members could hide their identities while selling drugs.

-Tony Lee