(NY DAILY NEWS) – A curfew is being imposed in New York City following four consecutive nights of protests against police brutality that have led to clashes with cops and looting, Gov. Cuomo said Monday.
The governor announced the curfew on WAMC, an Albany-area radio station, hours after saying he was considering the option as a way to tamp down the violence that has erupted in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.
The citywide curfew will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and additional NYPD officers will be on the streets, Cuomo said.
“I spoke with the mayor, there’s going to be a curfew in New York City that we think could be helpful,” he said. “More importantly, there is going to be an increase in the force. There were about 4,000 officers on duty last night. There’ll be double that tonight, about 8,000.”
In a joint press release issued after the governor made the announcement, Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio said the officers will be deployed to lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, where they say “violence and property damage occurred during last night’s protests.”
Floyd’s death sparked protests across the nation that have boiled over at night as cops and demonstrators clash, fires burn out of control and looters target shuttered stores.
Curfews have already been instituted in several major cities in other states, from Chicago to Los Angeles, as well as some upstate, including Rochester and Albany.
In the city, peaceful marches during the day have preceded protesters torching police vehicles and breaking into stores along Fifth Ave. in Manhattan at night.
Cuomo slammed the violence that has exploded at many of the gatherings, saying it does a disservice to the underlying message of reform.
“That’s not righteous indignation,” he said. “That’s criminality. And it plays into the hands of the people and the forces that don’t want to make the changes in the first place. Because then they get to dismiss the entire effort.
“They’re going to try to paint this whole protest movement that they’re all criminals, they’re all looters,” he added.