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N.Y.C. Sees Peaceful Protests and Less Looting After Earlier Curfew: Live Updates




Protests are planned at Gracie Mansion and other sites Wednesday evening.

For the seventh consecutive day, New Yorkers are preparing to take to the streets across the city in shows of mass support for Black Lives Matter and in protest of systemic racism and inequality.

There are at least 10 rallies planned, including at least one in each borough. At 7 p.m., just an hour before curfew will kick in, protesters plan to hold a rally at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, the official residence of the mayor.

By late Wednesday afternoon, one rally in Staten Island had already started and ended. A group of about 50 people had gathered at Tompkinsville Park around 1 p.m. and marched up Bay Street peacefully as the vehicles honked to show support.

“I was born into a community filled with anger,” Taiquan Campbell, 25, of Staten Island said to the crowd. “I can’t keep that anger any more.”

A tearful demonstrator asked Mr. Campbell why he was still advocating for peaceful protests rather than violence. He said he was speaking from the heart.

‪“I wasn’t taught to express myself with words, I was taught to express myself with these,” he said, nodding toward his fists. “I’m done living like that.”‬

The times and locations of planned demonstrations included:

  • 6:30 — Roosevelt Island: Rally at the Bloomberg Center

  • 7:00 — Manhattan: Rally at Gracie Mansion

  • 7:00 — Queens: Rally at Queensbridge Park

There were fewer arrests Tuesday night than Monday night.

After five nights of unrest and looting, tee number of arrests dropped sharply on Tuesday as peaceful protests dominated the action and Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented a more robust law enforcement strategy with Phase 1 of the city’s economic reopening less than a week away.

Approximately 280 people were arrested on suspicion of looting and violating the 8 p.m. curfew on Tuesday.

That’s down from the 700 people arrested on Monday night, when looters broke into Macy’s flagship store in Midtown and stores on Fordham Road in the Bronx.

Mr. de Blasio responded by moving the curfew to 8 p.m. from 11 p.m., shut down for-hire vehicles and Citi Bikes and scooters while closing off traffic south of 96th Street in Manhattan.

“Overwhelmingly it was a different reality in New York City last night,” Mr. de Blasio said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

“We went to a much more aggressive strategy. It worked much better last night,” the mayor added.

Mr. de Blasio credited the New York Police Department’s leadership for developing a new strategy. He also credited New Yorkers who came out to clean up Fordham Road in the Bronx.

“We will take back our city from anyone who aims to do us harm,” the mayor said.

The city must now return its focus to the June 8 reopening, Mr. de Blasio said.

He urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to place markings in stations and on platforms to help passengers practice social distancing, place hand sanitizer at stations and increase the number of trains during rush hour for Phase 1.

The city will be providing 1 million masks to hand out to passengers and will work with the M.T.A. to identify personnel who can help enforce social distancing rules.

“Now people are going to be coming back and they need to know they are going to be safe,” Mr. de Blasio said.

New Yorkers may not feel comfortable riding mass transit and may use cars more frequently than in the past, but because it is Phase 1 of the reopening and many people will still work form home, the mayor believed that there will not be complete gridlock.

“This is a time-limited crisis,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Police official said Cuomo apologized after criticizing the handling of protests in N.Y.C.

As the governor of the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has earned praise across the country for his honest and at times heartfelt assessments. So when protests and looting erupted in New York and other cities following the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Mr. Cuomo offered a blunt critique.

“The N.Y.P.D. and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Mr. Cuomo said on Tuesday. “Look at the videos — it was a disgrace.”

The comments came after Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio, announced investigations into several violent police encounters with protesters, and several businesses in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx were looted.

But Mr. Cuomo has since called to apologize, according to Terence A. Monahan, the chief of the department and the highest-ranked uniformed police officer.

“As a matter of fact last night his office called and apologized to me,” Mr. Monahan said Wednesday during an appearance on NBC. Mr. Monahan also said Mr. Cuomo had called the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, “directly to apologize.”

Mr. Monahan, who took a knee to show solidarity with protesters earlier this week, said he welcomed Mr. Cuomo’s private remarks, and hoped to hear them expressed more broadly. “I hope he would come out publicly and say that again today during his news conferences,” Mr. Monahan said.

A senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, said in a statement Tuesday night that the governor did not mean to criticize the police department, but rather “the management and deployment of the N.Y.P.D.” and that he “believes the Mayor should put more N.Y.P.D. officers on the streets to do their job.”

In a personal appeal, George Floyd’s brother asked N.Y.P.D.’s commissioner to support a ban on chokeholds

A brother of George Floyd personally appealed to Commissioner Shea to support a ban in New York City on the type of chokehold restraint used by officers on Mr. Floyd, a representative for the brother said on Wednesday.

The representative, the Rev. Kevin McCall, said that the brother, Terrence Floyd, urged Commissioner Shea in a phone call on Wednesday to embrace broad policing changes within the New York Police Department. Terrence Floyd specifically urged the commissioner to support outlawing the kind of neck restraining maneuver that led to his brother’s death in Minneapolis.

The New York City Council has introduced legislation that would make it a crime for officers to use the technique.

“He talked about that to the commissioner and legislation and policy,” the Rev. McCall said after meeting with Commissioner Shea at the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, which is just a couple of blocks from the location of the largest protests in recent days.

The revered said that Commissioner Shea, who expressed his condolences to the brother during the call, listened to Terrence Floyd’s pleas but did not commit to any specific changes just yet.

The N.Y.P.D.’s history of using chokeholds has come under particularly intense scrutiny in the years since the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who was placed in a stranglehold by a police officer while he was being arrested.

The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was fired from the Police Department and stripped of his pension benefits last year. A Staten Island grand jury and federal civil rights prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against him.

At a news conference at the church on Tuesday, Commissioner Shea said that he hoped that the country would “look in the mirror” after the killing of George Floyd and change how it treats its citizens.

“We condemn what happened in Minneapolis,” he said. “This entire difficult period — it’s not the first but please lord it’s the last. It should be a wake-up call for this country.”

The commissioner left the church without taking questions from reporters.

Terrence Floyd, who lives in Brooklyn, was expected to attend the event and meet in person with the commissioner but Mr. Floyd was overcome by emotion and could not make it, the Rev. McCall said.

A memorial in New York City for George Floyd is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. Terrence Floyd is scheduled to attend.

Some protesters lingered after curfew Tuesday.

For a second straight night, a citywide curfew took effect in New York on Tuesday, this time at 8 p.m., as officials tried again to curb the violent clashes, looting and other destructive acts that have marred the mostly peaceful protests filling the streets for nearly a week.


As happened on Monday, when much of the worst damage was done before an 11 p.m. curfew took effect, groups of people lingered outside after the cutoff came. The largest crowd tried to cross the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn, but was turned back peacefully after a lengthy standoff with the police.

Mr. de Blasio had been sharply criticized on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and others for how he and the Police Department had handled what turned into a rash of looting across Midtown Manhattan on Monday in advance of the 11 o’clock curfew.

On Tuesday, in the hours after the curfew took effect, the group on the bridge and several other crowds of hundreds of people continued to walk peacefully through Brooklyn and Manhattan, chanting protest slogans and urging change as they had for nearly a week in demonstrations touched off by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“As long as it takes, I’m going to do it,” Sam Fitzgerald, 35, of Brooklyn, said of protesting. “It’s a revolution, baby.”

In the first hour after the curfew began, the police did not appear to be moving aggressively to disperse or arrest the remaining protesters, at least not in large numbers.

But many of those who continued to march were trailed closely by clusters of officers. Others encountered squad cars or barricades that kept them from crossing bridges between boroughs or from flooding commercial corridors. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, cross streets were blocked to keep demonstrators flowing uptown.

As the night continued, some officers became more forceful as they sought to disperse the protesters who were left.

At around 9:30 p.m. on the Upper West Side, officers charged into a group that was peacefully protesting, according to New York Times reporters at the scene. The officers tackled a person with press credentials and made several arrests, and the crowd scattered.

Later, after 11 p.m., the police were making a significant number of arrests around Union Square and Astor Place, with social media reports suggesting that officers were using aggressive tactics as they enforced the curfew.

The area also saw scattered break-ins. In one, the windows at a Gap store in Greenwich Village were smashed, with shattered glass and mannequins strewn on the street. Hours later, a Starbucks around the corner, on Astor Place, had its windows smashed. Looters also hit Zara and Verizon stores in Lower Manhattan.

In several instances in Manhattan, protest organizers engaged in tense exchanges with people who were spoiling for violence and destruction.

As some people banged on windows at two stores at the intersection of Vesey Street and Broadway early on, a young organizer shouted into a microphone, “Stay calm and peaceful” and “Keep it moving!”

Similar scenes played out all night. Occasionally, as at Gentlemen’s Barber Spa on Church Street, an entire window would be smashed, and objects would be thrown into the street. But organizers would corral the rest of the crowd, depriving the vandals of cover.

“It’s really frustrating when the protesters get mixed in with the looters,” said Moses Gardner, 26. “It’s really hurtful to the message. People are looking for reasons to discredit the protests.”

Around 10 p.m., after a protest near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn dissolved, a splinter group moved toward the borough’s Downtown section. On Livingston Street off Flatbush Avenue, a group of people smashed the glass at the Wright and Goebel liquor store. About a half-dozen people streamed in, then streamed out seconds later, some of them clutching bottles of wine.

The liquor store’s owner, Owen Wright, said the thieves who broke into the shop had stolen about $500 worth of wine.

Despite the damage, Mr. Wright remained optimistic.

“I think the peaceful protesters are doing the right thing, and it’s very powerful right now,” he said. “There’s a possibility for change I haven’t felt before.”

Here’s what you need to know about the city’s curfew.

City officials have issued guidance saying that “essential workers” are among those excepted from the shutdown order, which is in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day through Sunday.

Those exempt from the curfew include:

  • Health care workers

  • Law-enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians

  • Those working at businesses deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic, including grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies

  • People seeking medical treatment or obtaining medical supplies

  • Homeless people living unsheltered on the street and homeless outreach workers

  • Members of the news media

Officials also clarified on Tuesday that the following activities are permitted during the curfew:

  • Restaurant and food delivery

  • Taking dogs out, but only in the immediate vicinity of your home

For-hire car services, including those dispatched by Uber and Lyft, will be banned from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every night the curfew is in effect, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which oversees for-hire drivers. Yellow cabs and green cabs were allowed to continue to operate to transport essential workers or those needing medical treatment.

Traffic in Manhattan will continue to be banned below 96th Street as part of the city’s curfew, with exemptions for essential workers, buses and truck deliveries.

Doctors gathered Tuesday in Times Square for a 7 p.m. twist: They honored black protesters.

Hundreds of demonstrators, led by well over 100 doctors and other medical workers, rallied in Times Square late Tuesday to honor Black Lives Matter protesters and black victims of police violence.

The protest was built around a repurposing of a daily tradition that emerged amid New York’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic: the 7 p.m. cheer to honor medical professionals, grocery store employees, delivery drivers and other essential workers who have kept the city running during the near-total shutdown of daily life prompted by the outbreak.

“We are members of a community that is being applauded every day at 7 — there are advertisements here in Times Square thanking us,” said Dr. Hillary Dueñas, a resident physician at Mount Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side and an organizer of the demonstration. “We think it is more appropriate to use our voice to applaud people who are protesting right now.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has made clear that there have always been inequities in the community,” she said. “There has been a hugely disproportionate burden of death and disease among marginalized communities and communities of color.”

As the 7 p.m. cheer broke out, doctors and hundreds of protesters who had come to support their efforts marched to the center of Times Square chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and “How do you spell racist? N.Y.P.D.!”

One doctor, a 30-year-old emergency room doctor from Brooklyn who immigrated to the United States as a teenager, said she was frustrated by what she said were racist double standards in the country. She asked not to be publicly identified, fearing retaliation by her employer.

“I feel disheartened as a black person who has been in the United States for 13 years because no matter what you do here, you will never be treated equally by the police or by society,” she said. “It is not about your achievements or who you are as a person. As soon as I take off this white coat I am treated as badly as every other black person.”

Reporting was contributed by Julia Carmel, Annie Correal, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Alan Feuer, Sandra E. Garcia, Michael Gold, Joseph Goldstein, Amy Julia Harris, Corey Kilgannon, Jeffery C. Mays, Andy Newman, Sarah Maslin Nir, Derek M. Norman, Azi Paybarah, Jan Ransom, Dana Rubinstein, Ashley Southall, Liam Stack, Matt Stevens and Alex Traub.

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