“De Blasio says ‘enough is enough’ for protesters breaking curfew”
“In the context of crisis, in the context of curfew, there comes a point where enough is enough,” de Blasio said during his daily City Hall press briefing.
For the past week, masses have flooded Big Apple streets in protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd — and over several recent nights, violent clashes with police ensued as looters struck parts of the city.
The chaos forced a besieged de Blasio — already battered by mounting criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — to order the Big Apple’s first citywide curfew since World War II.
“I am the duly elected leader of this city, I have put in a curfew,” de Blasio said. “If officers say now it’s the time to go home, it’s time to go home.”
The 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in effect through Sunday.
The mayor added, “I want to be clear, when people are instructed by the NYPD, especially after curfew, they must follow those instructions. The NYPD has actually taken … a very open approach, respecting protest, flexible as always.”
During the press briefing, de Blasio said the NYPD has shown restraint amid the protests and danced around reporters’ questions about whether police should be allowed to arrest and use force against peaceful demonstrators out after curfew.
“There’s a lot of complexity here,” the mayor said, adding, “But the fact is, look, in many places in this world and — especially, I can say this — many places in the good ol’ USA, a curfew at 8 p.m., that would be the end of discussion right there.”
De Blasio continued, “It is the nature of New York City and the restraint shown by the NYPD that we’re trying to give people extra space, if they do it the right way — if they respect the instructions of the NYPD and do no violence, no harm – don’t commit any violence.”
Hizzoner explained that the recent demonstrations are “not the protests we have known for decades.”
“There is an additional element trying to create violence and intermixing with the peaceful protesters and…trying to get people set against each other,” de Blasio said of the anarchist-minded agitators.
“It’s insidious,” he said.
When asked by a reporter about online videos showing cops using batons and force against protesters at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Wednesday night, de Blasio admitted he has not seen the clips, but said if there are any incidents that need to be investigated, “It will be.”
“What I know about last night is that the curfew was honored overwhelmingly by New Yorkers, again, almost no vandalism or looting last night,” said de Blasio. “There was some peaceful protest, overwhelmingly peaceful, certainly throughout the day and into the night. A lot of restraint from the NYPD overall.”
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