NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By H. Nazan Işık – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio today, June 1st, announced a citywide curfew in New York City will take effect beginning at 11 PM tonight and will be lifted at 5 AM tomorrow morning.
On May 25th George Floyd, a 46-year-old American –African man, died in police custody in Minneapolis. Fallowing the death of Mr. Floyd protesters gathered together to protest police brutality throughout all 50 states in the United States.
There have been a number of protests across New York City since Friday, concentrated in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and to a smaller degree in Queens, and started piecefully, but late at night turned violent: burning police cars, demaging stores, looting…
Mayor de Blasio said this morning at a press conference “Later in the evening, last night, and in several locations, particularly Lower Manhattan, we saw looting. That is something we do not see typically in this city. That is unacceptable in New York City. It will not be allowed in New York City. We’re going to address that very, very aggressively.”
There was a guestion from a journalist whether he is considering a curfew.
Mayor de Blasio: “To date, we have not believed a curfew was the right strategy, but the Commissioner and I are going to talk about it as an option today. We’ll discuss it over the next few hours. I’m also going to have a discussion with Governor Cuomo about it.”
It didn’t take a long time for Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to decide if a citywide curfew was necessary.
“Tonight, to protect against violence and property damage, the Governor and I have decided to implement a citywide curfew,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Governor Cuomo: “Tonight the Mayor and I are implementing a citywide curfew starting at 11 PM and doubling the NYPD presence across the city.”
The Governor and the Mayor announced that the New York City Police Department will double its police presence to help prevent violence and property damage. The additional officers will be deployed to areas where violence and property damage occurred during last night’s protests – specifically in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.
“I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to take advantage of and discredit this moment for their own personal gain,” said Governor Cuomo. “The violence and the looting that has gone on in New York City have been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement.”
Mayor de Blasio joined the Governor: “I support and protect peaceful protest in this city. The demonstrations we’ve seen have been generally peaceful. We can’t let violence undermine the message of this moment. It is too important and the message must be heard,” said de Blasio.
The Mayor also added about wrongly behaved police officers towards protesters: “The Police Commissioner and I have spoken at length about the incidents we’ve all seen in recent days where officers didn’t uphold the values of this city or the NYPD. We agree on the need for swift action. He will speak later today on how officers will be held accountable.”
The Governor and the Mayor also reminded New Yorkers participating in protests to take proper health precautions and wear face coverings while we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus “At the same time, we are in the midst of a global pandemic which spreads through crowds and threatens public health.”
It remains to be seen if a citywide curfew from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, a six-hour curfew, would stop looters.