De Blasio on Thursday defended the actions of the NYPD and said officers largely showed 'restraint' on Wednesday night
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday stood by the NYPD for its tough crackdown on anyone who broke curfew on Wednesday night and said the majority of officers 'showed restraint' after a violent night of clashes that saw 180 people being arrested, officers being shot and one cop being stabbed in the neck.
Police officers took their toughest stance yet against people breaking the 8pm curfew on Wednesday night and appeared to make no distinction between peaceful protesters and others, rounding up crowds of people and in some cases, turning violent.
They fielded off attacks themselves including in Brooklyn, where three cops were shot in the hands by a man wielding a knife.
De Blasio said on Thursday that the incidents of cops being attacked were 'horrible' and that the majority of officers behave appropriately, as do protesters, but that the heightened 'crisis' of the moment meant that people must adhere to the curfew to allow police to hone in on 'insidious' actors who are using protesters as 'shields' and a cover to be out at night.
He said while there were incidents of excessive force, the police department did its job and warned people to listen to cops or face arrest.
Many on Wednesday night - like the nights before - flouted the curfew to continue protesting in outrage over the killing of George Floyd by four Minneapolis cops on May 25.
They complained at being treated violently by overzealous NYPD cops and shared videos on social media including one in which a cyclist was dragged from his bike and beaten by three officers after trying to ride away from them.
De Blasio on Thursday said: 'I want to emphasize: if officers say it's time, people need to listen to that. It's not an unfair action to say in the context of crisis, there is a point where enough is enough. It takes some respect on all sides.
'If officers say now is the point we need you to go home, it's time to go home. I respect the strategy that is in place. We have to keep the peace, we have to keep order.
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NYPD strictly enforced the citywide curfew on Wednesday, even arresting peaceful protesters who remained on the streets after 8pm
Peaceful protests continued across the city on Wednesday night, but an early curfew, drenching rain and refined police tactics appeared to have stopped some of the destruction of previous nights
Despite a calmer night of protests, at least 90 people were arrested and taken away in paddy wagons after ignoring the city curfew
Critics said the night of calm came at a price as police arrested dozens of orderly people for violating the curfew
Many took to social media to condemn police officers' heavy handed tactics on peaceful protesters on Wednesday
'We go to even another level of restraint and say some stay out there so long as they continue to respect everyone, do not attack police officers, we give them some extra leeway but there's still limits.
Three NYPD cops beat a cyclist with their batons after dragging him from his bike
A cyclist was dragged from his bike and beaten by several NYPD cops on Wednesday night during an evening of clashes between officers, peaceful protesters and looters that saw more than 180 arrests, two police shootings and one cop being stabbed.
The video was taken at 50th Street and Third Avenue last night after the 8pm curfew went into effect. It was shared on Twitter afterwards and has since circulated widely amid growing outrage over the NYPD's enforcement of the curfew.
It shows the cyclist - who has not been identified - trying to get away from a cop by crossing the road.
The cop, wearing a helmet and carrying a nightstick, followed him and repeatedly struck his bike.
The other officers then caught up to the pair, dragged the cyclist from his bike, and carried on hitting him. The footage was taken by someone in a car who said they were being held up by the cops and not allowed to drive home at the time.
All three officers struck the cyclist with their nightsticks as he fell to the ground. It's unclear what he'd allegedly done beyond being outside past 8pm and its unclear if he is an essential worker - they are exempt from the curfew
'I want to be really clear. The Manhattan Bridge the other night - if it continues it can only lead to something bad.
'In a very imperfect world, that is a clear indication. If you stay out, OK, but do not even think about doing anything violent and there's a point at which enough is enough and it's time to go home,' he said.
It was the calmest night in the city this week and there were scarce incidents of looting but there is mounting criticism of the NYPD's tough crackdown.
Some say they are being stopped from getting on subways before the curfew, giving the police department an excuse to arrest them once it hits 8pm.
Others - who are essential workers like media, food delivery, medical workers or people seeking medical attention - say they are being stopped, rounded up and in some cases, beaten just for being outside.
Chief Monahan said while most people dispersed after arrests began, police were forced to take action on those who refused, moving in on crowds just before the heavy rain began.
'When we have these big crowds, especially in this area, especially where we've had the looting, no more tolerance. They have to be off the street,' he said on Wednesday.
'An 8 o'clock curfew, we gave them until 9 o'clock, and there was no indication that they were going to leave these streets.'
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who attended a rally in downtown Brooklyn, expressed outrage that peaceful demonstrations were broken up after cops began physically pushing protesters out.
'I can't believe what I just witnessed & experienced,' Williams wrote on Twitter, calling the use of force on nonviolent protesters 'disgusting.'
He also shared a video taken outside Brooklyn Borough Hall where he was heard questioning cops' heavy-handed tactics on participants of a peaceful demonstration.
'There's no looting, there's no fires, why are we pushing everyone?' he says.
Footage shared by journalist Zach Williams showed further police clashes with protesters in Brooklyn as they tried to clear out the area.
Cops were seen urging crowds of people to move out, at times stopping to make an arrest or to use their baton to push protesters along.
When one demonstrator asked an officer why he was being taken into custody, an Associated Press reporter heard the officer reply: 'Curfew violator. You didn't hear the news?'
At least one NYPD officer was injured when a scuffle broke out between police and protesters marching to Cadman Plaza after dark.
Shortly after the curfew took effect, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke to WBLS radio saying the restriction has had a 'calming impact' on the city and is allowing it to get 'back to a better place.'
'I've asked protesters to go home at the time of the curfew… but if they keep going peacefully about the streets of the city that's going to be respected,' he said.
Protesters also appeared to react more calmly to police attempts to break up crowds, a contrast to the early days of the protests
One man is seen on the ground as police detain and arrest him for violating curfew
NEW YORK: Protesters raise their hands as police prepare to make dozens of arrests during demonstrations in Manhattan
The NYPD began moving in on crowds about one hour after curfew and just as heavy rain poured down
About 90 people were arrested on Wednesday, despite an early curfew and rainy weather curbing much of the previous nights' violence
Police were seen chasing after protesters in the rain as demonstrations continued in Manhattan over the killing of George Floyd
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who attended a rally in downtown Brooklyn, shared a video of cops using batons to clear out peaceful protesters
Police Commissioner Demot Shea also later told CNN police officers were 'trying to have a softer touch as possible, hear people, see people.'
'We continue to reinforce that we respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble,' he said.
BROOKLYN MAN IS SHOT AFTER STABBING COP AND STEALING HIS GUN
The 20-year-old Brooklyn man who stabbed a police officer in the neck and then stole his handgun before he was shot eight times by nearby cops is an immigrant from the Balkan region who is being investigated for ties to terrorism.
Two other police officers were shot in the hand during the incident late on Wednesday, though it is unclear if they were shot by the suspect with the gun he stole from the ambushed cop or if they were hit by gunfire from responding officers.
The suspect has been identified as Dzenan Camovic. The FBI announced on Thursday that it is taking part in the investigation.
The New York Police Department on Thursday released an image of a knife that investigators claim was used to stab a police officer in Brooklyn late on Wednesday night
The incident took place late Wednesday near the intersection of Church Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, where officers were patrolling the area to prevent looting.
According to police, one officer was ambushed by a man who walked up behind him and stabbed him in the neck.
The man then took the policeman’s handgun. Officers who were on duty nearby rushed to the scene and found the suspect with the gun.
A total of 22 shots were fired, according to authorities.
Two police officers were shot in the hand, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
All three officers are recovering from non-life threatening injuries at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
Camovic, was shot eight times by officers who responded to the scene. He is listed in critical condition.
Now authorities are looking into whether Camovic may have ties to terrorism
About 60 people were arrested near Central Park out of a large band of protesters who had marched from near the mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion.
Despite the arrests, as the evening deepened, there were few reports of the mayhem that had occurred on several days of demonstrations, when protesters burned police vehicles and showered officers with debris.
Gone also were the roving bands of people who smashed their way into scores of stores and stole merchandise Sunday and Monday nights.
Chief Monahan said there had been no reports of looting as of 9.30pm.
Protesters also appeared to react more calmly to police attempts to break up crowds, a contrast to the early days of the protests where attempts to break up crowds were sometimes met with thrown objects.
It comes as hundreds took to the streets to peacefully protest again, this time gathering outside Mayor Bill de Blasio's residence Gracie Mansion.
A silent protest was scheduled for 7pm Wednesday evening, just one hour before the city's 8pm curfew went into effect.
Demonstrators marched towards the Upper East Side before arriving at the mayoral residence in Carl Schurz Park, where they sat on the ground and observed 30 minutes of silence in honor of George Floyd.
As protesters marched in, NYPD officers lined the streets and cut off entry to most parts of the park near the mayor's home, forcing many to squeeze onto East End Ave and E 86th street instead, Gothamist reported.
Videos shared on social media showed crowds sitting or kneeling in silence with only the sound of birds chirping and helicopters circling above filling the air. At the end of the half hour, protesters broke out in cheers and chants.
As curfew came into effect at 8pm, hundreds exited the area and continued marching southbound, as police trailed behind.
It is unknown if Mayor de Blasio was at the residence at the time however, as 8pm approached, he took to Twitter to tell residents on the streets to go home.
'Last night had its challenges, but we saw real progress from Monday and our city was safer for it. Help us keep it up. It's 8 PM and a citywide curfew is in effect. It's time to head home,' he said.
It comes after thousands of people ignored the city's newly-imposed curfew on Tuesday night which had been moved forward from 11pm the night before in a bid to help curb violence and looting that have wreaked havoc on the streets since Friday.
In a no-nonsense crackdown, NYPD officers arrested 280 people across the city, although it is unclear if it was for violating the curfew or for other offenses, like looting or violence.
Thousands gathered outside of Gracie Mansion in the Upper East Side for a silent vigil honoring George Floyd
The silent protest was planned for 7pm on Wednesday evening, just one hour before the city curfew went into effect
Thousands marched up the streets of New York City before sitting on the ground or taking a knee
A protester and a police officer shake hands in the middle of a standoff during a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd Tuesday on June 2 in New York