Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a curfew for New York City on Monday night following four days of protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.
The curfew will begin at 11 pm tonight and continue until 5 am Tuesday morning, Cuomo announced during an interview with Albany-based radio program WAMC on Monday afternoon. Cuomo did not indicate if the curfew will extend beyond Monday.
Cuomo also announced that the NYPD will increase its police presence on Monday night, with the number of officers jumping from 4,000 to 8,000.
“I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to distract and discredit this moment,” Cuomo said. “The violence and the looting has been bad for the city, the state, and this entire national movement, undermining and distracting from this righteous cause. While we encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, the safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.”
The mayor said that while demonstrations have been “generally peaceful,” the incidents of violence that have accompanied them are undermining “the message of the moment.”
“It is too important and the message must be heard. Tonight, to protect against violence and property damage, the governor and I have decided to implement a citywide curfew,” said de Blasio. “The police commissioner and I have spoken at length about the incidents we’ve all seen in recent days where officers didn’t uphold the values of this city or the NYPD. We agree on the need for swift action.”
City Hall later clarified that essential workers and homeless people are exempt from the curfew, NBC News reported, although it’s unclear how the order will be enforced.
Update (Tuesday, 11 am): The citywide curfew will now be instituted at 8 pm and end at 5 am each of the remaining nights this week.
This is a developing story that first appeared on AMNY.com. Check back here for further updates.