250 Arrested as Fires Set, Stores Looted in NYC After 4th Day of Protests

June 01, 2020 - 4:20 am

NYPD made 250 arrests Sunday after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody stretched into a fourth day in New York City.

Citywide vandalism, fires and lootings were shared on social media platforms as groups smashed into luxury stores and began taking items.

Hundreds of protesters took to Times Square, many of them kneeling on the street as police watched on, while in Brooklyn hundreds more walked through the streets of Williamsburg.

"Just checked on situation around the Barclays Center," Mayor Bill De Blasio tweeted. "Lots of protesters moving around and plenty of police presence ... Just checked on Union Square. At this moment, limited protest activity."

But the mayor's assessment didn't sit well with NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who tweeted, "What?! You aren’t seeing the same thing as everyone else tonight!"

A bank that was vandalized
Photo credit David Caplan/1010 WINS

Hours after he spoke, demonstrations resumed. Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Brooklyn, chanting “No justice, no peace,” and “Black lives matter,” while making occasional insulting hand gestures at a line of police officers protecting the Barclays Center.

"We need more of this, to see and hear each other, to work together, to recognize that our differences are our strength," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in response.

There were multiple complaints about police unnecessarily shoving or bludgeoning protesters and spraying crowds with chemicals. 

The NYPD said 345 people were arrested, 33 officers were injured and 27 police vehicles were damaged or destroyed by fire. There were no major injuries reported. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said some peaceful demonstrations were “hijacked” by people with violent intent.

“We expect additional protests tonight and we’re preparing for such,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing.

A bank that was vandalized
Photo credit .David Caplan/1010 WINS

At least five burned-out NYPD vehicles that remained near Manhattan’s Union Square were towed early Sunday afternoon.

Similar protests flared around the nation in response to the Minnesota death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was black, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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