Thousands of demonstrators defiantly remained on the streets of New York City well past the 8 p.m. curfew put in place Tuesday by officials struggling to stanch destruction seen on other nights and growing complaints that the nation’s biggest city was reeling out of control.
Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on a citywide curfew, moving it up from 11 p.m. the night before, but rejected urging from President Donald Trump and an offer from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.
“Everyone, time to go home so we can keep people safe,” he said on WINS-AM radio shortly after the curfew took effect.
Protesters continued winding through the streets, mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn, throughout the evening following the May 25 death of George Floyd and other recent racially charged killings.
“I’m surprised,” said Risha Munoz, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where at points they were greeted with cheers and horns by onlookers in building windows. “I didn’t think they were gonna let us go on, but we just kept on moving and we’re not stopping.”
“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.
Police began making arrests around 9 p.m. and shut down parts of the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan, blocking it off to huge crowds of protesters. The police department 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.
“We’re going to have a tough few days. We’re going to beat it back,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said in announcing that the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would remain through Sunday.
A man was fatally shot by police around 10 p.m. in Crown Heights. An NYPD spokesperson said officers responded to reports of shots fired, where they found a man who had been shot. Another man hiding nearby pointed a gun at police, and as many as 10 officers shot at him, the spokesperson said. The NYPD is investigating the shooting.
Protests continued in New York City and across the country Tuesday following the death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
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.”