An 11 pm curfew in New York did little to contain riots and looting in the Big Apple, part of a wave of national unrest following the George Floyd homicide in Minneapolis. Police made over 700 arrests in New York City last night — when they weren’t being struck by cars and being beaten by rioters:
Around 700 people were arrested as a result of looting and destroying property during Monday night’s protest in New York City, a New York Police Department spokesperson told NBC News.
The Midtown and Union Square areas in Manhattan and Fordham Road section of the Bronx were particularly hard hit.
An NYPD sergeant who was run over by a car in the Bronx has serious injuries and is expected to survive.
It wasn’t just the cars, either. The NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted out this video of a cop getting beaten as onlookers cheered (language NSFW):
NYPD Cop attacked in the Bronx. I guess the critics will now say he overreacted. NYPD Cops defend yourselves, you are alone! pic.twitter.com/424w5bZbC6
— SBA (@SBANYPD) June 2, 2020
Looters sacked iconic retailers as the city spun out of control, leading Mayor Bill de Blasio to set an 8 pm curfew for tonight:
Hundreds of looters stormed Midtown Manhattan for a second night in a row Monday, brazenly bashing through the windows of high-end stores and making off with stolen goods as police attempted to control the chaos.
The roving gangs began their spree of rampage after a demonstration over George Floyd’s death earlier in the evening, at times clashing with peaceful protesters who desperately attempted to stop the looting and destruction. …
In advance of an 11 p.m. curfew, looters breached a Best Buy, Nike Flatiron, Aldo, Microsoft, Michael Kors and the Nintendo store in Rockefeller Center.
It’s not random either, the NY Post’s source indicates, but organized and “systemic.” Another source at the NYPD says it’s mostly gang-related, and it’s not created by outside agitators. In this case, it’s local:
A high-ranking police source told The Post that the looting and destruction appeared to be perpetrated by gangs from across the five boroughs.
“It’s coordinated,” the source said. “They are not out-of-towners. We know who they are.”
That wasn’t the worst of it, either in NYC or around the country. Violence spilled out all over with six police officers shot overnight, four in St. Louis alone:
A nation that was already reeling from a pandemic that has claimed more than 100,000 lives, sent the economy into a tailspin not seen since the Great Depression and forced millions to shelter at home for months is now confronting the most widespread civil unrest in half a century.
At least six police officers were reported shot in incidents around the country overnight, including four in St. Louis, and other officers were injured when drivers plowed into their ranks. There have also been widespread reports of protesters injured in recent days, as the police deploy tear gas, rubber bullets and other tactics.
Ironically, this comes at a time when the situation has largely calmed down in the epicenter of the unrest, Minneapolis. That shift in momentum came from belatedly filling the security vacuum with thousands of National Guard troops to keep the rioters from gaining more momentum. Curfews alone won’t work without a robust law-enforcement presence to impose it. While “dominate” might not be the most politic term for it, an overwhelming presence matters — as does the speed in which is imposed.
Governors may not have enjoyed getting lectured by Trump yesterday, but on this he is absolutely correct. If local police can’t assert themselves — either because of a lack of numbers or a lack of credibility in the communities they serve — then governors need to order National Guard troops into the streets to secure the communities and allow peaceful, lawful assembly. That has been the result in the Twin Cities for the last two days, and hopefully will continue to be the case from now on.
We cannot sustain public order if the violence of the past week continues. We cannot even solve the problems that ostensibly fuel these protests unless the violence comes to an end. People may not like the police in some areas, but they like getting burned out of their homes and businesses a whole lot less, and the other issues will get pushed to the back burner all over again while this continues.
New York’s 8 pm curfew might help tonight, but not without the manpower to back it up.
Update: I know how Meghan feels. The Twin Cities went through the same process, and it took days before we saw any firm action from leadership here as well.
My neighborhood in Manhattan is eviscerated and looks like a war zone. DeBlasio and Cuomo are an utter disgrace. This is not America. Our leaders have abandoned us and continue to let great American cities burn to the ground and be destroyed. I never could have fathomed this
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 2, 2020
Update: Andrew Cuomo agrees on the “disgrace,” but says don’t look at him:
BREAKING: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called out Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Police Department.
“The NYPD and the Mayor did not do their job last night”
— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) June 2, 2020
Yeah, that’s real leadership right there. NYC has 38,000 police, but it also has 9,000,000 residents, too. Maybe they needed a little more help, Governor.