NYC mayor considers potential curfew to curb violent protests

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was planning to discuss with other officials about a potential curfew, after several nights of chaos emerged in protests over the death of Minnesota black man George Floyd.

Some 40 cities across the United States have imposed curfews to curb acts of violence in extensive demonstrations against police brutality and racism, which usually erupted at night, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

The mayor said he would talk with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Commissioner of New York Police Department (NYPD) Dermot Shea on whether to follow suit. “We have to look at it as an option,” he said.

Sunday’s protests in New York started peacefully in the afternoon but tensions escalated in the evening, the same as the previous two nights.

“When it got dark, it got ugly, and it got ugly quick,” Shea told NBC’s Today Show on Monday.

Over the past four days, some 1,000 protesters were arrested in the nation’s largest city due to various acts, including attempting to take over roads or highways, looting, setting fire on police vehicles, and attacking police, vandalism, among others, law enforcement officials said.

Meanwhile, over 40 police officers have been injured since Thursday, none with serious injuries.

Three people have been federally charged with using and attempting to use “Molotov Cocktails” to damage and destroy NYPD vehicles early Saturday morning in Brooklyn, according to a statement of the US Department of Justice on Sunday.

The mayor on Monday reiterated his stance on violent and destructive behavior in protests, saying they will not be tolerated and the city will “address that very aggressively.”

He also confirmed that his 25-year-old daughter was arrested in a protest Saturday night in Manhattan.

Local newspaper New York Post said on Sunday that Chiara de Blasio refused to leave a street when police asked her to do so. She was given a court summons and then released.

“She was abundantly clear she was peacefully protesting, not doing anything that would provoke a negative response,” said the mayor of his daughter at his daily briefing.

The NYPD is also under criticism due to some seemingly excessive moves toward protesters. On Saturday, two police vehicles, which were surrounded by dozens of protesters, accelerated in an attempt to get out of the crowds, knocking several people down on the ground.

Commissioner Shea said on Monday that the department is investigating officers’ behaviour in six incidents during the clashes between protesters and police.