New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed Monday afternoon that there will be a curfew in New York City beginning at 11 pm on Monday night. The curfew will be lifted at 5 am Tuesday.
“In New York City, I spoke with the mayor, there’s going to be a curfew in New York City that we think could be helpful,” Cuomo said. “More importantly, there is going to be an increase in the force.
“There were about 4,000 officers on duty last night. There’ll be double that tonight, about 8,000,” he said.
The beefed up forces will be deployed to lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn – both areas that were essentially trashed on Sunday night.
The announcement comes after four nights of rioting that followed four days of mostly peaceful rallies. Nightfall brought with it violence that included firebombing, looting and clashes with police. Widespread looting in downtown and midtown Manhattan included destruction of high-end stores such as: Gucci, Versace, Tory Burch, Chanel and Coach, among numerous others.
Cops just cleared Broadway, issuing order to disperse. Things are escalating quickly. Protestors split up between intersections. “You are being ordered to disperse” pic.twitter.com/qNUch3Lk0m
— Ali Watkins (@AliWatkins) June 1, 2020
Cuomo said he is prepared to call in the National Guard if it becomes necessary, if the NYPD becomes overwhelmed by the “protesters.”
Both Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the looting, claiming it was being carried out by “a small number of people,” and both warned the ongoing “protests” could spread the coronavirus – creating a risk of reversing the hard-won progress that had allowed the city to finally prepare to reopen.
“I support and protect peaceful protest in this city,” said de Blasio. “The demonstrations we’ve seen have been generally peaceful. We can’t let violence undermine the message of this moment. It is too important and the message must be heard.
“Tonight, to protect against violence and property damage, the Governor and I have decided to implement a citywide curfew. The Police Commissioner and I have spoken at length about the incidents we’ve all seen in recent days where officers didn’t uphold the values of this city or the NYPD. We agree on the need for swift action. He will speak later today on how officers will be held accountable.
“I stand behind the protesters and their message but unfortunately there are people who are looking to take advantage of and discredit this moment for their own personal gain,” said Cuomo.
“The violence and the looting that has gone on in New York City has been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause. While we encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.
“At the same time, we are in the midst of a global pandemic which spreads through crowds and threatens public health. Tonight the Mayor and I are implementing a citywide curfew starting at 11 pm and doubling the NYPD presence across the city.”