NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio will impose a curfew on New York City Monday that will last from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. as protests over the killing of George Floyd bring increased destruction throughout the five boroughs.
The shutdown is designed to discourage property damage and looting, which both men said has mainly occurred at night in contrast to otherwise peaceful protests during the days and evenings. New York joins other cities from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles that have already imposed curfews in the wake of widespread unrest.
“I stand behind the protesters and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to take advantage of and discredit this moment for their own personal gain,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The violence and the looting that has gone on in New York City has been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause.”
While the mayor had recently questioned the efficacy of curfews, earlier in the day both officials had left the possibility open after break-ins and thefts.
“There are advantages and disadvantages, to say the least, to instituting a curfew,” de Blasio said at a morning press briefing. “Previous nights, I think, were different than what we saw last night.”
The mayor and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea have said that forces from outside the city have come with an agenda of violence and property damage that was on display Sunday night. And as part of the curfew, the NYPD will be beefing up patrols. According to Cuomo there will be roughly 8,000 officers deployed Monday, nearly double the amount of previous nights.
“We will have a robust amount of officers both in plainclothes and uniform out there tonight,” de Blasio said during the morning press briefing. “Anyone coming to, whether it’s one of the outer boroughs or to Manhattan, with the intent to take advantage of people during this very difficult time, we are going to ensure that we do everything that you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
People out after 11 will be asked to go home and if they do not comply will be given a summons, City Hall said. Curfew violations are considered a Class B misdemeanor and enforcement will be focused on areas that have seen the biggest protests. Essential workers will be exempted.
Cuomo said during a radio appearance that he and the mayor would consider extending the order Tuesday.