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Society

After Floyd Protests, NYC Stores Plundered despite Curfew

NEW YORK  — Broken glass and burned piles of debris littered parts of New York City's early Tuesday after its first curfew in decades failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy's flagship Manhattan store.

Police said more than 200 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday.

As the day dawned, the city appeared to have made progress limiting violent clashes between police and large groups of demonstrators marching throughout the city over the death of George Floyd. Several big marches went off peacefully, with one hours-long demonstration in Brooklyn allowed to continue long after an 11 p.m. curfew.

But for a second night, roving bands of young people attacked businesses in Manhattan's glitzy shopping districts and a poor neighborhood in the Bronx, where shops were looted and rubbish set on fire.

People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Storefront windows were smashed near Rockefeller Center and wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store. 

One officer was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Bronx and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said. Another video showed a group of men hitting a police officer with pieces of wreckage until he pulled his gun and they ran. 

"Some people are out tonight not to protest but to destroy property and hurt others — and those people are being arrested," Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted late Monday. "Their actions are unacceptable and we won't allow them in our city."

De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats, announced an 11 p.m. curfew late Monday afternoon. De Blasio said Tuesday's curfew would start earlier — beginning at 8 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m — in an effort to quell late-night violence and destruction.

That early restriction on activity will happen when it is still light out, at a time when many New Yorkers are still running errands, walking dogs and getting late exercise in a city still clamped down because of the coronavirus.

The violence threatened to overshadow the anger over the death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.

Some officers in New York City and around the nation have sought to show solidarity with demonstrators protesting Floyd's death while urging calm. New York City's highest-ranking uniformed member, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, clasped hands with protesters and took a knee Monday in Manhattan's Washington Square Park.

"The people who live in New York want New York to end the violence," Monahan said.

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