Cops arrest 90 peaceful protesters across New York City during sixth night of George Floyd demonstrations as NYPD chief declares there will be ‘no more tolerance’ for curfew violators and looters stay at home
- NYPD strictly enforced the curfew Wednesday, cracking down on those who remained on the streets past 8pm
- At least 90 peaceful protesters were arrested after cops moved in on crowds using batons and pepper spray
- Despite the arrests, much of the chaos and destruction from previous nights appeared to have calmed down
- NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said there will be ‘no more tolerance’ for curfew-breakers
- Earlier, crowds had gathered near Mayor de Blasio’s residence one hour before curfew took effect
- Protesters sat on the ground and observed 30 minutes of silence in honor of George Floyd
The New York City Police Department continued its crackdown across the city on Wednesday night by arresting more than 90 peaceful protesters who ignored the citywide curfew for a third night in a row.
About an hour after the 8pm curfew went into effect, officers began moving in on crowds of demonstrators in Manhattan and Brooklyn, at times blasting people with pepper spray or using batons to shove those who didn’t move fast enough.
NYPD Chief Terence Monahan warned there will be ‘no more tolerance’ for curfew violators as the department moves to restore order on the streets following four nights of chaos and violence that left businesses across the city ransacked and vandalized.
Protests over the death of George Floyd had continued for a sixth day on Wednesday, but strict curfew enforcement, drenching rain and refined police tactics appeared to have stopped some of the destruction of previous nights.
Some critics however, said the calm came at a high price, as the city was forced to grind to a halt at 8pm, bridges were closed to traffic, and police arrested dozens of orderly people for violating the curfew.
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NYPD strictly enforced the citywide curfew on Wednesday, even arresting peaceful protesters who remained on the streets after 8pm
Peaceful protests continued across the city on Wednesday night, but an early curfew, drenching rain and refined police tactics appeared to have stopped some of the destruction of previous nights
Despite a calmer night of protests, at least 90 people were arrested and taken away in paddy wagons after ignoring the city curfew
Critics said the night of calm came at a price as police arrested dozens of orderly people for violating the curfew
Many took to social media to condemn police officers’ heavy handed tactics on peaceful protesters on Wednesday
Chief Monahan said while most people dispersed after arrests began, police were forced to take action on those who refused, moving in on crowds just before the heavy rain began.
‘When we have these big crowds, especially in this area, especially where we’ve had the looting, no more tolerance. They have to be off the street,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘An 8 o’clock curfew, we gave them until 9 o’clock, and there was no indication that they were going to leave these streets.’
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who attended a rally in downtown Brooklyn, expressed outrage that peaceful demonstrations were broken up after cops began physically pushing protesters out.
‘I can’t believe what I just witnessed & experienced,’ Williams wrote on Twitter, calling the use of force on nonviolent protesters ‘disgusting.’
He also shared a video taken outside Brooklyn Borough Hall where he was heard questioning cops’ heavy-handed tactics on participants of a peaceful demonstration.
‘There’s no looting, there’s no fires, why are we pushing everyone?’ he says.
Footage shared by journalist Zach Williams showed further police clashes with protesters in Brooklyn as they tried to clear out the area.
Protesters also appeared to react more calmly to police attempts to break up crowds, a contrast to the early days of the protests
One man is seen on the ground as police detain and arrest him for violating curfew
NEW YORK: Protesters raise their hands as police prepare to make dozens of arrests during demonstrations in Manhattan
The NYPD began moving in on crowds about one hour after curfew and just as heavy rain poured down
About 90 people were arrested on Wednesday, despite an early curfew and rainy weather curbing much of the previous nights’ violence
Police were seen chasing after protesters in the rain as demonstrations continued in Manhattan over the killing of George Floyd
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who attended a rally in downtown Brooklyn, shared a video of cops using batons to clear out peaceful protesters
Cops were seen urging crowds of people to move out, at times stopping to make an arrest or to use their baton to push protesters along.
When one demonstrator asked an officer why he was being taken into custody, an Associated Press reporter heard the officer reply: ‘Curfew violator. You didn’t hear the news?’
At least one NYPD officer was injured when a scuffle broke out between police and protesters marching to Cadman Plaza after dark.
Shortly after the curfew took effect, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to WBLS radio saying the restriction has had a ‘calming impact’ on the city and is allowing it to get ‘back to a better place.’
‘I’ve asked protesters to go home at the time of the curfew… but if they keep going peacefully about the streets of the city that’s going to be respected,’ he said.
Police Commissioner Demot Shea also later told CNN police officers were ‘trying to have a softer touch as possible, hear people, see people.’
‘We continue to reinforce that we respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble,’ he said.
However, social media videos appeared to contradict both Shea and de Blasio’s message, as cops aggressively pushed out crowds of peaceful protesters.
About 60 people were arrested near Central Park out of a large band of protesters who had marched from near the mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion.
Despite the arrests, as the evening deepened, there were few reports of the mayhem that had occurred on several days of demonstrations, when protesters burned police vehicles and showered officers with debris.
Gone also were the roving bands of people who smashed their way into scores of stores and stole merchandise Sunday and Monday nights.
Chief Monahan said there had been no reports of looting as of 9.30pm.
Protesters also appeared to react more calmly to police attempts to break up crowds, a contrast to the early days of the protests where attempts to break up crowds were sometimes met with thrown objects.
Thousands gathered outside of Gracie Mansion in the Upper East Side for a silent vigil honoring George Floyd
The silent protest was planned for 7pm on Wednesday evening, just one hour before the city curfew went into effect
Thousands marched up the streets of New York City before sitting on the ground or taking a knee
By the time crowds arrived, NYPD had cut off access to much of the park near Gracie Mansion, where Mayor de Blasio and his wife live (2019 stock photo)
It comes as hundreds took to the streets to peacefully protest again, this time gathering outside Mayor Bill de Blasio’s residence Gracie Mansion.
A silent protest was scheduled for 7pm Wednesday evening, just one hour before the city’s 8pm curfew went into effect.
Demonstrators marched towards the Upper East Side before arriving at the mayoral residence in Carl Schurz Park, where they sat on the ground and observed 30 minutes of silence in honor of George Floyd.
As protesters marched in, NYPD officers lined the streets and cut off entry to most parts of the park near the mayor’s home, forcing many to squeeze onto East End Ave and E 86th street instead, Gothamist reported.
Videos shared on social media showed crowds sitting or kneeling in silence with only the sound of birds chirping and helicopters circling above filling the air.
At the end of the half hour, protesters broke out in cheers and chants.
As curfew came into effect at 8pm, hundreds exited the area and continued marching southbound, as police trailed behind.
It is unknown if Mayor de Blasio was at the residence at the time however, as 8pm approached, he took to Twitter to tell residents on the streets to go home.
‘Last night had its challenges, but we saw real progress from Monday and our city was safer for it. Help us keep it up. It’s 8 PM and a citywide curfew is in effect. It’s time to head home,’ he said.
It comes after thousands of people ignored the city’s newly-imposed curfew on Tuesday night which had been moved forward from 11pm the night before in a bid to help curb violence and looting that have wreaked havoc on the streets since Friday.
In a no-nonsense crackdown, NYPD officers arrested 280 people across the city, although it is unclear if it was for violating the curfew or for other offenses, like looting or violence.
Protesters were forced to climb onto rocks as thousands marched for a sixth night of protests
A protester and a police officer shake hands in the middle of a standoff during a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd Tuesday on June 2 in New York
In videos shared on social media, only the sounds of birds chirping and helicopters hovering above filled the air
One hour into the curfew, officers also cut off access to the Manhattan Bridge, leaving 5,000 protesters who were marching towards the island stranded for two hours.
Despite the mayhem, Tuesday’s protests proved to be much calmer than the previous night’s demonstrations which saw more than 700 people arrested.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that the situation overnight was a vast improvement on the previous 48 hours.
Trump claimed on Tuesday that the city was ‘totally out of control’ and on Wednesday he said the National Guard was ‘ready’.
Governor Cuomo was hesitant to call in the National Guard as was de Blasio. They both said the NYPD could handle it in a better way.
On Wednesday, Cuomo said: ‘New York City last night was much better. The police officers had the resources and capacity to do their jobs. The results last night were much, much better than the night before.
The NYPD stopped 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by blocking them on the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night. The protesters retreated after two hours
Young protesters wearing coronavirus masks sit with their hands behind their backs
Protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge after being stopped by police last night during an 8pm curfew which thousands ignored but which was followed by less rampant destruction than on previous days in New York City
‘The people of New York City should feel much better today than they did after the night of looting.’
The calmer scenes in New York City were echoed across much of America where protesters once again turned out in force but the confrontations with police were subdued and widespread rioting was limited.
It followed a day of anger from President Trump’s critics over the way he threatened to deploy the military to quell riots across the US and cleared protesters in Washington DC so he could visit damaged St John’s Episcopal Church.
The curfew, barring people from streets citywide and nonessential vehicles from part of Manhattan from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., was imposed to prevent the nighttime chaos that followed peaceful protests for several days in a row.
Around Manhattan, even in parts of the city that hadn’t seen the damage and thefts, businesses had boarded up windows as precautions.
Vandalism and pilfering didn’t stop completely Tuesday. Some shops had windows smashed and merchandise taken. But it was a contrast from the previous two days, when several Manhattan shopping districts and one in the Bronx were overrun with people – some with crowbars and clubs – who ransacked numerous shops and set fires.
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