Mayor Bill de Blasio extended the citywide curfew to Sunday and said it will start three hours earlier at 8 p.m. following a night of looting. The mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday jointly announced an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and an increase of police enforcement following a weekend of protests. The NYPD announced that after 8 p.m. the only vehicles allowed south of 96th Street in Manhattan will be essential workers, buses, and delivery trucks. Likewise, Citi Bike has been required to shut down service for the duration of the curfew.
Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd have been largely peaceful throughout the multi-day protests, but some violent clashes with police and incidents of looting of storefronts in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn caused the mayor to extend the curfew.
“We support peaceful protest in this city. But right now it’s time to go home,” de Blasio tweeted on Mondy night. “Some people are out tonight not to protest but to destroy property and hurt others — and those people are being arrested. Their actions are unacceptable and we won’t allow them in our city.”
An executive order signed on Monday by de Blasio exempts essential workers and those experiencing homelessness and “without access to a viable shelter.” The order also states that failure to comply could result in a Class B misdemeanor.
On Monday, the NYPD doubled the number of officers deployed from 4,000 to 8,000 officers, who will be stationed in areas where “violence and property damage occurred,” according to the officials. But the increase in law enforcement on the ground and the curfew did not stop looters from hitting hundreds of stores in Manhattan, including high-end shops on Fifth Avenue and the Macy’s flagship at Herald Square.
“The violence and the looting have been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause,” Cuomo said in a statement on Monday. “While we encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, the safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.”
Both Cuomo and de Blasio have blamed the violence and property damage on a small number of “outside agitators.” During a press briefing, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the idea of protestors coming in from outside of the community is not new.
“That’s done under the cloak of a greater cause and again, this is what we’re dealing with, it makes it a little bit difficult right now, but we are working with federal partners, we’re working with local authorities, and just trying to, number one, first and foremost as we start everyone, make sure that we don’t have loss of life or we keep people safe,” Shea said.
According to the NYPD, more than 200 people were arrested on Sunday night and an additional 200 people on Monday to early Tuesday morning. Cuomo has also said the National Guard could also be deployed if needed.
Videos of police officers aggressively cracking down on protestors went viral on social media this weekend, including some that showed officers in riot gear beating people with batons and pepper-spraying crowds. On Saturday, two police vehicles drove into a crowd of people in Brooklyn after protestors were throwing projectiles and blocking the officers.
According to the Daily News, 430 complaints had been filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board about police misconduct as of Monday morning. De Blasio said on Monday that this incident is under investigation by the NYPD, as well as independent review from City Hall.
— Bedford + Bowery (@bedbow) June 1, 2020
Local news website Bedford and Bowery reported more than 50 storefronts shattered in Soho, with dozens more tagged with graffiti. Looters hit high-end retailers like Coach, Dior, Dolce & Gabanna, and others.
Smaller businesses were also hit, including B&H, Le Fournil, Cooper’s Craft & Kicthen & Kona Coffee. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/ZxBLag7zfs
— evgrieve (@evgrieve) May 31, 2020
In the East Village, smaller businesses were also hit on Sunday. According to EV Grieve, there was looting at B&H Photo, Le Fournil, Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen, and Kona Coffee.
A number of protests and vigils are scheduled for Monday, including in Times Square, Sheridan Square in the West Village, Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, Avenue D and East 9th Street in Manhattan, 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Astoria Park in Queens, McCarren Park in Williamsburg, and King Plaza in Mill Basin.
Editor’s note: This was post was originally published on June 1, 2020, but has since been updated with new information.