After a fifth night of protests in New York City, and images of rampant looting in Manhattan and the Bronx circulating on social media into the overnight hours of Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected calls for the National Guard, stating that outside armed forces would make the situation worse.
On Tuesday afternoon de Blasio announced a citywide curfew through the morning of Monday, June 8 effective immediately. Initially a curfew started June 1, and ran from 11:00pm til 5:00am.
Essential workers will still be allowed to travel to and from work during the curfew.
“We saw stuff last night that we will not accept,” deBlasio said in a press conference Tuesday. “A lot of people are trying to express fear. A lot of people are trying to tear down,” he said. “I am sick of people attacking New York…Don’t tell me what we can’t do. Tell me what we can do.”
“A lot of people are going to try to divide us and turn one type of New Yorker against another type of New Yorker,” he said. “I won’t stand for that…We are all New Yorkers.”
Mayor de Blasio referred to “a criminal few” who tried to tear down the progress that others fought for in the Bronx.
In a Tweet Tuesday afternoon deBlasio said, “We do not need the National Guard to come into New York City. When outside armed forces come into communities, especially these intense situations they have not been trained for, that’s a dangerous scenario. We have 36,000 police officers who will keep this city safe.”
In a separate Tweet he said, “If you choose to protest today, do it in the daytime hours and then please go home. We have work to do this evening to keep a peaceful city.”
Meanwhile Governor Cuomo criticized the New York City Mayor, saying the mayor underestimated the scope of the problem.
Cuomo also said, “The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that you have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police dept in the US. Use 38,000 people and protect property. Use the police. Protect property and people. Look at the videos. It was a disgrace.”
“I think he underestimates the duration of the problem,” Cuomo added, referring to de Blasio. “And I don’t think they’ve used enough police to address the situation because it’s inarguable that it was not addressed last night.”
Cuomo said he had offered New York City the National Guard but de Blasio said he could handle the situation with NYPD.
“My option is to displace the mayor of NYC and bring in the National Guard as the Governor in a state of emergency and basically take over the Mayor’s job,” he said. “I don’t think we’re at that point.”
Protests have spread across the US and overseas after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died after being detained by police in Minneapolis. A video of the arrest showed officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin has since been fired and subsequently charged with Murder 3rd degree and Manslaughter 2nd degree.