With a tightened curfew and limits on vehicular traffic to Manhattan, violence and looting appeared to calm on Tuesday night.
Some properties, including the Gap store in Greenwich Village and a Foot Locker near Washington Square Park, were damaged, and looters hit Zara and Verizon stores downtown, the New York Times reported. Property damage appeared to be less extensive than Monday night, when shops in Soho, in Midtown and on Fordham Road were hit.
On Monday, severe property damage occurred in the lead up to the 11 p.m. curfew — the first in the city in 75 years. To ward off a repeat of that, Mayor Bill de Blasio moved up the curfew to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and extended it through the week. He also banned non-essential vehicles from Manhattan below 96th Street and got Uber, Lyft and CitiBike to cut off service there. With the subway already shut down at night, that made it difficult for looters to get in and out of the borough.
Tuesday was the second night the city was under curfew as protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd continued.
After looting occurred on Sunday in Soho, retailers began removing inventory and boarding up their storefronts. Business improvement districts in some of the city’s hardest-hit areas recommended shopkeepers to do the same — a departure from initial advice given at the start of the pandemic.
Though some properties were still damaged on Tuesday night, protesters themselves intervened at times to stop people from smashing windows and stealing from storefronts, according to the Times. A public safety volunteer group called Guardian Angels also defended some stores from looters. Police closely followed the ongoing protests and made a number of arrests later in the night.
Late Tuesday, de Blasio said on Twitter that “so far, the curfew is certainly helping, based on everything I’ve seen in Brooklyn and Manhattan over the last three hours.” [NYT] — Erin Hudson