More than 200 protesters were arrested across New York City on Tuesday night after peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd descended into chaos and thousands ignored the city’s 8pm curfew.
Defiant demonstrators continued marching through the streets throughout the night on Tuesday, though some of the rampant destruction seen over the past few days was quelled.
It comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on a citywide curfew moving it up from 11pm the night before, but rejected urging from President Trump and an offer from Governor Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.
As unrest continued for a fifth night, Trump called on officials to enlist the help of the federal government to regain control of the city.
‘New York’s Finest are not being allowed to perform their MAGIC but regardless, and with the momentum that the Radical Left and others have been allowed to build, they will need additional help. NYC is totally out of control. [De Blasio and Cuomo] MUST PUT DOWN RIOTING NOW!’ he tweeted.
Mayor de Blasio later defended his decision not to deploy National Guard troops, telling CNN their presence could have raised ‘a real risk of violence and someone losing their life.’
He also confirmed Tuesday night saw ‘the highest number of police we have had over the last five days,’ but refused to say how many officers were on the ground.
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Thousands of protesters remained on the streets after the city’s 8pm curfew went into effect. Pictured: NYPD officers face demonstrators as they continue to rally
Dozens of protesters and curfew-violators were detained and loaded onto police vans as chaos erupted a fifth night
Police began making arrests around 9pm, when peaceful protests turned into chaos on Tuesday night
Police officers initially let people continue on their way, while making arrests in others. Pictured: Four people are handcuffed and detained for violating curfew
A demonstrator is detained by a police officer after curfew during a protest against the death of George Floyd
Looters wreaked havoc on local businesses and retail shops for fourth night on Tuesday, smashing storefronts and ransacking the place
As of 1am, police had carried out about 200 arrests across the city, with that figure expected to rise, CNN reported.
Shortly after the curfew went into effect, De Blasio had urged residents to go home ‘so we can keep people safe’, but he was ignored by many around the city who continued protesting throughout the city’s streets.
In some areas, police let people continue on their way, while making arrests in others. Demonstrators who had been on the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan were herded off, with parts of the roadway blocked off behind them.
But as night fell, groups of curfew-violators and looters around the city were rounded up and handcuffed by officers before being loaded on to NYPD vans.
Police began making arrests around 9pm and shut down parts of the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan, blocking it off to huge crowds of protesters.
The police department had announced it would not allow vehicle traffic south of 96th Street in Manhattan after curfew, though residents, essential workers, buses and truck deliveries were exempt.
An estimated 5,000 peaceful protesters were also left stranded on the Manhattan Bridge for hours after NYPD officers formed a barricade blocking entry into Manhattan after the curfew came into effect.
Videos shared on social media showed demonstrators chanting ‘let us through’ after reaching the end of the bridge.
Some took to Twitter to say they were forced to wait for two hours before officers finally let crowds through.
‘Currently stuck on the Manhattan Bridge. NYPD told us the would let us through “in 10 min” – that was 40 min ago. They now brought in multiple vans to barricade us in from both sides. They are all wearing riot gear. We have been nothing but peaceful,’ one woman tweeted.
Social media footage showed protesters finally began to clear the bridge around 11pm.
Meanwhile in Chelsea, protester Jane Rossi said she witnessed officers rip a man out of his car and arrest him around 10.45pm.
The car was behind a group of several hundred protesters that had roamed Manhattan peacefully since leaving Trump Tower at 8pm.
Police guard the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge that heads towards Brooklyn as protesters try to cross over
An estimated 5,000 peaceful protesters were stranded on the bridge for up to two hours after police formed a barricade to block entry to Manhattan
New York police block protesters and activists crossing the Manhattan Bridge from entering the borough
NYPD officers board a bus after securing the Soho area to prevent looters during curfew following demonstrations
NYPD officers load detained demonstrators on to a paddy wagon after thousands ignored 8pm curfew
Dozens of people were seen being taken away in paddy wagons as NYPD cracked down on curfew-violators
Tensions had risen moments earlier when some in the group began trying to damage a bike rental station and banged on the windows of a JCPenny’s. The vast majority of the crowd moved to stop the them.
Officers surrounded the car and arrested the driver moments later.
‘They were just driving behind the protesters making sure that we were safe,’ Rossi told AP. ‘They were part of the protest.’
Just after midnight Wednesday, most of the city’s streets were cleared aside from police patrolling, especially in hot-spot areas for demonstrations in areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
There was a heavy police presence in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, where authorities say police fatally shot a man after responding to reports of shots fired. NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said the officer-involved shooting was not connected to the protests.
Looters also took to the streets to target businesses for a fourth night, with one video showing a group of men breaking into a Zara store.
Footage uploaded on Twitter showed police tackling a group of looters to the ground as they emerged from a Zara store near Fulton St, before placing them in handcuffs.
Merchants were seen boarding up storefronts in a bid to protect their businesses from looters who have targeted high-end designer stores on Manhattan’s iconic Fifth Ave, as well as the Macy’s flagship store.
Protests over the death of George Floyd had continued across the city this afternoon, with large gatherings forming in Foley Square near City Hall, Times Square, Washington Square Park and Carl Schurz Park.
Demonstrators marched peacefully, with some staging a sit-in near Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side, before chaos erupted across the city again after sunset.
It comes as officials had been gearing up for another night of carnage. The NYPD earlier had also told cops to cancel any time off in a message sent to staff reading: ‘Effective immediately, all full duty uniformed members of the service RDO’s are cancelled.’
Thousands of people took to the streets of NYC for a fifth night on Tuesday peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd
A number of demonstrations were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon as Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced to bring curfew forward from 11pm to 8pm after last night’s carnage
A woman holds up a Black Lives Matter sign during fifth night of George Floyd protests in NYC on Tuesday
Protesters chanting ‘hands up, don?t shoot!’ march down Flatbush Avenue, one of Brooklyn’s major streets, towards the Manhattan Bridge
Protesters take a knee as a sign of unity and chant during a solidarity march for George Floyd in Times Square
The daytime protests comes as the NYPD announced all non-essential traffic will be banned across Manhattan south of 96th Street starting at 8pm tonight
Protesters chant during a solidarity march for George Floyd in Times Square Tuesday
Protesters take a knee outside of the police station in Times Square in New York City on Tuesday
New York courts had also warned their workers to stay at home because of the protest.
‘The entire area around the courthouse complex will be shut down,’ District Executive Edward Friedland wrote in the email, obtained by The New York Post.
‘At the direction of the Chief Judge [Colleen McMahon], no SDNY staff are to come to the Foley Square courthouses tomorrow.’
One protest was scheduled to be held at 1 Police Plaza, the headquarters of the New York City Police Department, but organizers changed its location in order to not interfere with protesters in custody being released at the station, according to Patch.
Further demonstrations in the city were planned at the Stonewall Inn and 47th Street and Broadway, in Manhattan, 98 Fifth Ave in Brooklyn, and Fort Totten and Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue Station in Queens.
NBC reporter Phil McCausland posted to Twitter that thousands gathered in Foley Square Tuesday afternoon before they began a march north through the city.
Before they started out, protesters took a knee, raised a fist and chanted the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor while helicopters circled overhead.
As they walked north, they were saluted by medical workers holding signs that read, ‘Nurses fought COVID. Now we’ll fight the police.’
Workers putting up plywood to protect businesses from further looting also showed their support banging on wood and holding ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs.
In Times Square, thousands of protesters took a knee while holding their fists up in solidarity.
Other protests unfolded at Carl Schurz Park in the Upper East Side, as well as Washington Square Park where organizers planned to march uptown towards the mayor’s residence Gracie Mansion.
Footage shared on social media Tuesday evening showed thousands marching peacefully, a stark contrast to Monday night’s protests.
At Carl Schurz Park, photos showed demonstrators staging a sit-in and sitting on the road in silence.
Police officers stand guard in Lower Manhattan as protesters march through the city
Thousands took a knee as they gathered in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan in a peaceful protest that comes after four nights of chaos
A group of people marched up Broadway on Tuesday holding up a George Floyd banner, eight days after his death
As of early Tuesday evening, the city protests unfolded peacefully – a stark contrast to Monday night’s riots
Protesters spilled onto the streets of Manhattan ahead of the city’s 8pm curfew tonight
Protests broke out in Washington Square Park where organizers planned to march uptown towards the mayor’s residence Gracie Mansion
At Carl Schurz Park in the Upper East Side, photos showed demonstrators staging a sit-in and sitting on the road in silence
Hundreds of NYPD officers were seen lining the streets of Lower Manhattan as they watched protesters march on.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced to bring the curfew forward from 11pm until 8pm after another night of violence and crime that saw looters pillage Fifth Avenue, Union Square, Madison Square, Flatiron and parts of Soho.
CUOMO AND DE BLASIO: WE CAN HANDLE IT
Both Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed that they do not need to send in the National Guard because the NYPD can handle the escalating chaos across the city.
De Blasio said on Tuesday at his press conference: ‘We do not need nor do we think it’s wise, for the National Guard to be deployed in NYC because they’re not trained for the dynamic here.’
He also said that New Yorkers and NYPD were ‘one’ and that anyone who attacked cops would be punished.
Cuomo took a tougher stance, saying the NYPD did not do its job last night or the night before and that it had to change its tactics.
He wants to see more of them on the streets.
‘They have protected the city before in these situations, I’ve seen them do it before so I know they can do it because I have seen them do it.
‘They did not do it last night, that is true, but I believe in the inherent capacity of the NYPD if managed and if deployed.
‘That’s what hasn’t worked and that has to be fixed today. Stop the looting. I do believe the NYPD well deployed, wouldn’t need the National Guard. They are trained to do this.’
Commissioner Dermot Shea defended his officers, saying: ‘They are doing the best they can under incredibly difficult circumstances. We will not allow this city to regress.
‘We will protect all citizens of this city. You can have faith in us.’
Upmarket fashion store Michael Kors on Fifth Avenue was among the luxury outlets hit, along with Nike and Lego.
Since the rioting began in New York City, more than 700 people have been arrested, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Tuesday morning.
The citywide curfew from 8pm until 5am is in place until Sunday.
Six people were injured last night including a police officer who was run over in the Bronx and there were a dozen shootings but none were involving police.
President Trump on Tuesday called on Governor Cuomo to take tougher action and send in the National Guard, saying the city had been lost to ‘lowlife scum’ and ‘thugs’.
The decision to send in the Guard rests with Cuomo and de Blasio but both are refusing to do it, saying the NYPD is better equipped to handle the situation even though they have lost control to crowds in the last 48 hours.
On Tuesday, Cuomo said neither the NYPD nor the Mayor did their job last night but he believes the situation will improve if the cops are deployed ‘properly’.
‘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.
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.
Police Chief Terence Monahan said he was ‘extremely outraged’ by the governor’s comments, insisting officers are ‘giving their blood to keep this city safe.’
‘Our guys are tired, they’re bleeding,’ Monahan told the New York Post.
‘I think everyone you’re going to see is walking around cut up. But they’re out there again tonight.
‘I’m watching my men and women out there dealing with stuff that no cop should ever have to deal with, bricks, bottles, rocks,’ he added. ‘Hit in the face with bottles and continuing to go forward to make an arrest.’
On Twitter, Trump urged a 7pm curfew and National Guard deployment in his native city.
‘The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!’ he wrote.
De Blasio has not said how many extra cops he will put on the streets, if any. On Monday night, the police presence doubled from 4,000 to 8,000.
People who are exempt to the curfew are essential workers – as defined by the COVID-19 lockdown rules – , the homeless and people seeking medical attention.
But de Blasio said the New York Police Department 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.’
The looters targeted stores all over Manhattan, ransacking several retailers in each location, before police arrived. These are just some of the known locations they targeted
Workers survey the damage inside Camera and Computers on 34th Street after the looting on Monday night
Camera and Computers on 34th Street was looted last night after crowds seized on Macy’s in Herald Square and other stores in the iconic shopping district
Cartier and Versace had all been entirely boarded up on Tuesday morning. Stores further down Fifth Avenue were ransacked
Ubers and Lyfts are considered essential as are yellow taxis and restaurants can still deliver food to homes if they choose to stay open.
In the meantime, stores that were not targeted on Monday night have been boarding up their windows and doors in anticipation of more carnage.
The unrest comes just days before New York City’s long-awaited planned reopening after spending three months in strict lockdown to battle coronavirus.
In the week since, distress has erupted across America as Black Lives Matters protesters fend off violent responses from police forces trying to disperse them and looters and rioters cash in on the chaos.