Rioters and Looters Terrorize New York City After Daytime Peaceful Protests

Kevin Hogan
By Kevin Hogan
June 1, 2020New York

NEW YORK—Violent riots raged in New York City over the weekend after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. One radical was arrested for the attempted murder of police officers after throwing a molotov cocktail into an occupied police van. No lives were lost and no serious injuries were reported as of May 31.

Peaceful daytime protests over police brutality devolved into riots, looting, and arson in several U.S. cities after then-police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over eight minutes while he was restrained by the police.

Rioters terrorized the streets of New York City on Saturday in the wake of the death of George Floyd. In Manhattan, agitators smashed windows and looted stores. Violent protesters set at least three police vehicles ablaze.

“We had molotov cocktails recovered. We had an arrest effected for attempted murder of four police officers by an individual throwing a molotov cocktail into an occupied, marked police van,” said New York City Police Commissioner, Dermot F. Shea.

Protesters marched the streets chanting “Hands up; don’t shoot” and “What do we want?! Justice! When do we want it? Now!” Some involved in the march started fires and destroyed private property.

Along the route they came across a cache with neatly stacked bricks and shovels. Four people wearing all black clothing and backpacks converged on the supplies and worked together to peel back the wooden construction fencing.

They called out to the protesters, “Yo, we got bricks!” We got bricks!” The march lasted for one solid hour, as the protesters and rioters snaked through the streets in East Village and Noho neighborhoods. Tens if not hundreds of looters invaded an Adidas store and stole clothing and shoes after the glass door had been smashed. Members of the mob also stole from CVS and other stores.

Police stood guard in several locations in Manhattan on Saturday night. They blocked off streets with temporary metal fencing. These blockades were not along the route of this particular group of rioters.

Two police vans were seen flanking the group with their emergency lights flashing for a few minutes about 45 minutes after the reporter started following the group. After a few minutes of following, the police vans left.

Not a single police officer was seen during the solid-hour rampage that NTD covered. No police officer was seen so much as telling a single rioter to stop breaking the law, let alone making any arrests.

The reason for this is not clear. It may be because the police were told to stand down for some reason or because there were too many riots that night and the police did not have enough manpower to respond.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yet not all demonstrations were violent. In Brooklyn on Sunday, thousands gathered at the Barclays Center to make their voices heard. They chanted, “Peaceful protest!” repeatedly. The demonstrators took a knee in honor of the late George Floyd, chanting, “Take a knee!”

While this protest was non-violent, some heckled the police. “Trailer park trash!” one protester screamed to an officer’s face. The police responded by making arrests and chasing after them.

On Monday morning the mayor said the majority of the protests over the weekend were peaceful.

“Even in a day where thousands of people were out … pain, anger … overall what we saw was overwhelmingly peaceful demonstration,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Mayor de Blasio said he spoke with community leaders, elected officials and residents in Brooklyn who said they wanted to work on making changes in a positive and constructive way.

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