New York City will be under a curfew effective immediately amid violent protests and looting that have broken out in the wake of George Floyd’s police-related death in Minnesota.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the curfew will be from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. effective Monday, June 1, while the state’s National Guard will be on standby following four days of protests.
Additionally, the NYPD will be doubling its presence in the city to help prevent any potential violence or property damage.
The officers will be deployed to areas where violence and property damage occurred during last night's protests - specifically in lower Manhattan, including SoHo, and downtown Brooklyn.
In total, more than 8,000 officers are expected to be on patrol on Monday night. An NYPD spokesman said "over 250" protesters have been arrested since Sunday, the fourth day of protests.
"I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to distract and discredit this moment," Cuomo said. "The violence and the looting 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, the safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.”
During his daily novel coronavirus briefing on June 1, Cuomo discussed the idea of implementing a curfew, but said that it’s “not a silver bullet.”
“We’ve done it in other cities in New York, and we’ve seen it work, but a curfew is not a silver bullet,” he said before the curfew was put in place. “But obviously, last night was not good … so what can we do differently?
“New York City should have enough personnel with the NYPD, it’s one of the largest police forces in the country, and the taxpayers pay a lot of money for the NYPD,” he added. “There’s no doubt that the situation has done a lot of damage on a lot of levels and has not advanced the cause of the protesters.”
De Blasio said that he “supports and protects peaceful protest in this city. 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,” he continued. ”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.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James is conducting a review on officers who have been acting aggressively toward the protesters.
Said Cuomo: “I asked the attorney general for a report. I want that report done 30 days from when I asked her just two days ago.
"But I’m going to speak to the mayor about, in the meantime, what is the response for those police actions on videos.”
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