After a day of largely peaceful protests, luxury stores were looted and fires were set in the streets.
“Last night was a bad night in New York City,” the governor said. “It’s New York City, where I do believe there are people who use the chaos of the moment. It’s an opportunity. If you want to steal, that’s the night to do it. If you are an extremist group, and you want to preach anarchy, that’s the night to do it.”
WEB EXTRA: Read The Executive Curfew Order (.pdf)
The NYPD will double its presence in areas that have been hit with violence, property damage and looting, especially Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.
“I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to distract and discredit this moment,” Cuomo said. “The violence and the looting has been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause. While we encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, the safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.”
“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. Tonight, to protect against violence and property damage, the governor and I have decided to implement a citywide curfew,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “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 NYPD said more than 400 people were arrested overnight, several police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and roughly a dozen police vehicles were damaged.
De Blasio previously said there were no plans to pursue a curfew.
Cuomo said the National Guard is also on standby.
“I’ve told mayors all across the state that I can call out the National Guard,” he said. “New York City should have enough personnel with the NYPD. It’s one of the largest police forces in the country, and taxpayers pay a lot of money for the NYPD. I don’t know that it’s a manpower, person-power issue. But if it is, we have National Guard, who are also trained to do this.”
Several other states have imposed curfews and enlisted the help of the National Guard.
Troops have been deployed in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington D.C., according to Army Master Sgt. Michael Houk.