NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City’s second night of curfew still had people on the streets, but judging by the number of arrests things were much quieter.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city “took a step forward” and “overwhelming it was a very different reality in New York City last night.”
He fought back against claims, some from police unions, that the NYPD’s hands have been tied.
“Everything that happened yesterday strategically was originated in discussions coming out of One Police Plaza, brought over here, talked through, we determined things together,” he said.
De Blasio says NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan have been spot-on in their judgements, but they did make changes Tuesday based on some things they didn’t see coming.
The mayor pointed to all the looting that took place Monday night from SoHo to Midtown to the Bronx.
The sixth day of demonstrations against police brutality started peacefully in daylight.
Thousands marched through Manhattan from the West Village, to Union Square, Bryant Park and Gracie Mansion, where they were diverted away from the mayor’s house.
“It’s not always white against black, it’s wrong against right,” one protester said.
At 8pm tonight when the #curfew begins in #NYC, there will be NO vehicular traffic allowed south of 96th Street in Manhattan — with the exception of residents, essential workers, busses, and truck deliveries. pic.twitter.com/bpiVb45Gej
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 2, 2020
As the sun went down, police blocked traffic below 96th Street for the first night of the 8 p.m. curfew – an effort to curb looting and violence that has broken out at nightfall.
Police tried and failed to stop a large group from crossing the Manhattan Bridge.
“A lot of protesters marching around after curfew hours, which is fine,” Monahan told CBS2 in an exclusive interview. “We haven’t had the crazy groups running around that we had.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Looting And Its Aftermath In New York City
As the clock struck 8, some subway entrances were locked, so protesters trying to follow curfew struggled to get home.
“It’s 8 o’clock, so why would you lock the subway system and not let me get home when it’s time to go? So now you got me walking out on the street,” one man said in Columbus Circle.
“If people are going about their business or people are on their way home, we understand that,” said de Blasio. “The curfew is there to allow the police to be able to address any situation where someone is trying to do violence to a person or property.”
There were still pockets of violence in the city Tuesday night with businesses vandalized.
Sources told CBS2 the Nordstrom Rack on Sixth Avenue was looted after people ripped off the plywood and broke inside. The store was boarded up again by early morning, with security guards stationed outside.
The mayor says criminals looking to loot, plus a politically motivated group with an unknown ideology, are looking to cause violence.
“Has game plans, has materials they use, training they do, people out spotting,” de Blasio said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said Tuesday the mayor and NYPD didn’t do their jobs, sought to clarify what he said Wednesday.
“It’s an issue of management and deployment. The actual police officers are the best,” Cuomo said.
Shea wouldn’t discuss his private conversation with Cuomo but says he knows the governor supports law enforcement.
As New York enters another night of protests and the potential for more looting and violence by those taking advantage of the demonstrations, the mayor issued a plea to New Yorkers.
“What I want to see tonight is peace in this city,” de Blasio said.
The curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night for the rest of the week. Patrols are doubled and officers are working 12-hour shifts with scheduled days off canceled.
A tally from the Associated Press shows at least 9,300 people have been arrested since the protests over George Floyd’s killing began.