New York dawned on Tuesday with areas of the city devastated by the looting of the previous night, which left more than 700 arrests during the first curfew decreed in the city of skyscrapers in almost 80 years, which will be advanced three hours today to try to contain the unrest.
After a long day of peaceful protests on Monday, the situation changed as night fell, with street fires, destruction and robbery in stores, and clashes between agents and youth groups.
According to authorities, more than 700 arrests were made overnight, by far the largest number since the start of protests sparked by the death of Minnesota’s George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of police.
The most conflictive areas were commercial areas of Manhattan, where business looting abounded, and parts of the Bronx district.
This morning, as soon as the curfew was declared over, the sirens of some stores still sounded half off in Fordham Road, in the Bronx, where several windows of the Old Navy chain remained open to anyone who wanted to shop around the store, full of naked mannequins.
At 5:30 in the morning, those who went to work, the majority Hispanic, crossed paths with police detainees transport vans, patrol vehicles and police officers on foot, some still in riot gear.
Young black men jokingly commented on the landscape, over which the smell of fire extinguishers hung.
Four gigantic 54-inch plasma televisions sat in the back door of a Best Buy after looters had tried to pull them out through the aluminum shutters to no avail.
Shoes, boxes and broken glass were scattered along this shopping street in the Bronx without anyone taking care of picking them up, and while an early riser neighbor took photos and then blurted out, “What madness!”
Hours earlier there had been scenes of looting, bonfires in the middle of the street and police officers who, with blows, ended up momentarily leaving the territory to the vandals, who did not attack the small shops in the neighborhood, but those of the large chains.
Looting in Manhattan
In Manhattan, the scene was similar, although in some cases it seemed that the agitators were more interested in fighting with feather pillows snatched from an elite club than in stealing the leather loafers from the store opposite, whose flaws were evaluated by an expert.
“This is nonsense. They have destroyed the showcase and the interior, but almost nothing has been taken, ”one of the employees sent by the insurer explained astonished to Efe.
The two-storey North Face Fifth Avenue store featured people-sized wounds in its window displays and an interior with only collapsed furniture. It rains on wet since it is his second consecutive assault.
In Coach’s shop they swept windows, while two experts discussed whether the damage corresponded to the disturbances on Monday or on Sunday.
Jewelers and shoe and cell phone stores appear to have been the main riot of those shielded in the peaceful protests of George Floyd Police death a week ago stormed the Manhattan shopping mall.
New York authorities warned Tuesday of the risk that protests against racism and police violence could trigger a flare-up of the coronavirus in the city and urged protesters to take precautions.
“Express your outrage, but be responsible, because the last thing we want is to see an increase in the number of COVID cases,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who again supported the peaceful protests and decoupled them from the riots and Looting seen during the nights, with which he was very critical.
According to him, the message of the protests started after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Police in Minneapolis (Minnesota) is “very important” and the anger is “justified”.
“But remember that we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” insisted Cuomo, who asked for cooperation in order to continue giving “good news” regarding the evolution of the disease in New York.
According to what he said, hospitalizations continue to drop, the number of new cases also – with 154 positives in the last day – and 58 deaths were registered on Monday, one of the lowest figures since the pandemic began, although a slight rebound compared to 54 and 56 of the previous days.
According to the Johns Hopkins University count, so far 29,917 people have died in the state from the coronavirus.