THE NIGHT BEGINS: Thousands Protesting In NYC Streets, Defying Curfew


The 8 p.m. curfew New York City set in place Tuesday was widely ignored come closing time, with thousands remaining in the streets protesting.

The city moved up the curfew that was at 11 p.m. on Monday and banned much Manhattan car traffic overnight as officials struggled overnight to stanch destruction and growing complaints that the nation’s biggest city was reeling out of control night by night.

After chaos erupted again overnight amid protests over George Floyd’s death — despite an 11 p.m. curfew — Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on a citywide curfew but rejected urging from President Donald Trump and an offer from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.

The police department announced it would allow no vehicle traffic south of 96th Street in Manhattan after curfew, though residents, essential workers, buses and truck deliveries were exempt.

“We’re going to have a tough few days. We’re going to beat it back,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said in announcing that an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would remain through Sunday.

As he spoke at City Hall, midtown Manhattan was pocked with smashed storefronts, with Macy’s flagship store among those hit. A police sergeant was hospitalized after being hit by a car in the Bronx, where people tread Tuesday between broken-into buildings and a burned-out car on the Grand Concourse, a commercial thoroughfare.

“This is our community,” Nelson Bauza said as he inspected damage to his pawn shop. “I have good relationships with people in this community, and to do this, it makes no sense.”

The violence threatened to overshadow the anger over the death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

Protests resumed Tuesday, with people marching in groups of thousands in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, as merchants boarded their businesses. As the the curfew time arrived, many were still in the streets.

“Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us,” said Evan Kutcher, one of hundreds of demonstrators who stood outside the Barclays Center chanting Floyd’s name Tuesday evening.

“We’re here because something needs to change. We hear Cuomo and de Blasio everyday saying what’s happening is unacceptable but with no actionable plan from them.”

While de Blasio insisted the city would put a stop to the violence and vandalism that have marred largely peaceful mass demonstrations surrounding Floyd’s death, both the Republican president and the Democratic governor laid into the city’s handling of the mayhem thus far.

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said at a briefing in Albany. “Look at the videos. It was a disgrace.”

He said the mayor was underestimating the problem and the nation’s largest police force wasn’t deployed in sufficient numbers, though the city had said it doubled the usual police presence.

Cuomo’s remarks infuriated the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking uniformed member, Chief of Department Terence Monahan. Officers are “giving their blood to keep this city safe,” he told the New York Post, adding that he’d been hit by a bike and bloodied himself while arresting suspects Monday night. Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi later said the governor “has respect and confidence in the NYPD” and felt the mayor should put more officers on the streets.

Unprompted, Cuomo brought up the possibility of using his power as governor to replace the mayor and deploy the National Guard over de Blasio’s objections, then immediately shot down the idea as legally impractical and unnecessary.

On Twitter, Trump urged a 7 p.m. curfew and National Guard deployment in his native city.

“The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!” he wrote.

But de Blasio said the NYPD was “best equipped” to handle the lawbreaking, arguing that bringing in the National Guard risked fueling worse conflict in a city on edge.

“We will regret it if we bring outside armed forces,” he said. “When you bring in people not trained for the circumstance but still with loaded weapons and put under horrible stress, really bad things happen.”

That struck Rep. Max Rose, a Staten Island Democrat and an Army National Guard member, as “borderline offensive.”

“This isn’t for the peaceful protests, it’s to assist the men and women of the NYPD with the curfew, and for him to conflate the two is totally dishonest,” Rose said.

The mayhem over the last four nights has clearly challenged the 36,000-officer police force, which has a reputation as a muscular, well-resourced agency that has driven down crime and faced down terror threats in the nation’s biggest city.

On Monday night and early Tuesday, police again struggled to keep up with, let alone get ahead of, roving groups of people bashing their way into shops, including Macy’s flagship Manhattan store.

De Blasio said the city had expected problems farther downtown, as had happened the night before, and “adjustments were made” once officials realized that the hot spots had shifted.

Vandals who struck in the Bronx kept saying, “‘We’re going to hit this store, we’re going to hit this store,’ and it didn’t have any purpose to it,” Felix Gonzalez recalled Tuesday as he helped sweep candy bar wrappers, water bottles and lottery tickets from a pharmacy floor. He was among dozens of volunteers helping to clean up part of the Grand Concourse.

Nearly 700 people were arrested overnight, and several officers were injured. A sergeant was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx and was hospitalized in serious but stable condition, police said. Video also showed a group of people hitting a police officer with pieces of wreckage until he pulled his gun and they ran.

Back in the Bronx on Tuesday, Gonzalez said he saw people arrive from various neighborhoods spontaneously show up to help.

“They just got up, got brooms, got garbage cans, garbage bags and started cleaning up,” Gonzalez said. “I had to come out.”



  1. The liberals refuse to defend all the small business owners who were already hit by COVID 19 and now they have to lose their businesses all in the name of liberalism and equality. They believe that these are people who were hurt and discriminated against for many years while they actually are just thugs who are bored and unemployed during corona and are taking the opportunity to capitalize on the chaos of the protest to destroy NYC. It’s time for NY to wake up and see that they need new leadership!!