Fresh Protests Roil New York As NYC Mayor Pleads For Calm, NYPD Vehicles Set on Fire

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Police detain protesters in front of Trump Tower during a solidarity rally for George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in New York. Demonstrators took to the streets of New York City to protest the death of Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

NEW YORK (AP) — Street protests rocked New York City for a third straight day Saturday, even as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for calm after a demonstration in Brooklyn the previous night descended into chaos that left people bloodied and vehicles burned.

A large crowd marched through Harlem, chanted outside a police precinct then blocked traffic on the highway along Manhattan’s East River. Thousands of demonstrators paraded around Union Square. Other groups marched through Brooklyn and Queens.

Many of the demonstrations were peaceful, but as the afternoon drew on, problems mounted. Police and demonstrators shoved each other in Brooklyn. Officers sprayed an irritant on the crowd. Protesters smashed the windows on police vehicles, sprayed them with paint and set a patrol car on fire.

Videos showed protesters dancing on top of a smashed police van, its lights still flashing, as darkness fell in Manhattan.

The protests, among many around the country over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, came a day after several thousand people faced off with a force of officers on the streets around a Brooklyn sports arena.

Police officers protect themselves with shields as protesters throw debris during a rally Friday, May 29, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, at the Barclays Center over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

De Blasio, a Democrat, expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but promised an independent review of the Friday night disaster in which both protesters and police officers committed acts of violence. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had asked the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, to lead an inquiry and make a public report.

The mayor said he was upset by videos of confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police, including one that showed a woman being needlessly thrown to the ground.

But de Blasio said a small number of protesters had come “with an agenda of violence and incitement, and they meant to harm police officers, and they did harm police officers.”

Many people in the crowd threw bottles at police Friday. A mob set fire to a police van and battered several other police cruisers with clubs.

“They were subjected to horrible, vile things last night,” de Blasio said..

One demonstrator in Friday’s confrontations, Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, was arrested on an attempted murder charge after police said she tossed a homemade firebomb at a vehicle occupied by several officers. The device did not ignite and the officers were unharmed, police said. Police also arrested her sister, Darian Shader, 21, on charges of resisting arrest and obstructing police.

They were in custody Saturday and it wasn’t immediately clear whether lawyers had been appointed to represent them.

City police said in a Twitter posting Saturday evening that federal charges were expected to be filed against “multiple” people for incidents involving homemade bombs.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured Friday, including one who lost a tooth.

Asked to comment on videos that showed officers shoving peaceful protesters to the ground and hitting people with batons, Shea said those acts would be investigated.

But, he said, “It is very hard to practice de-escalation when there is a brick being thrown at your head.”

“It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” he said.


Elsewhere in the state, the mayor in Rochester declared a state of emergency and a 9 p.m. curfew after demonstrators destroyed police cars, setting one on fire, and officers responded with tear gas canisters.

The protests were all held in defiance of a statewide ban on gatherings imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is bigger than the pandemic,” said Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski, referring to the outbreak that, until recently, was killing hundreds of New Yorkers each day. “The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offenses and people need to stop killing black people. Cops seem as though they’ve been trained to do so.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton addressed several hundred people gathered in Staten Island at the spot where Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014. He was accompanied by Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr. The crowd held a peaceful demonstration outside the local police precinct.

Sharpton noted that Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes, had also fallen unconscious gasping for air.

“Right at this spot is where we heard Eric Garner say what six years later was said by George: ‘I can’t breathe.’”

Cuomo noted that Floyd’s death was just the latest in a long list of similar deaths, and he said he shared in the outrage over “this fundamental injustice.”

“But violence is not the answer. It never is the answer,” he said. “The violence obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission.”

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29 COMMENTS

    • Ummmm what happened in Ferguson under Obama? What about in Florida for the Zimmerman incident? You can’t blame trump for this.
      Not the first time there are riots over race. And unless they have a unified message and a leader nothing will change.
      Where is Oprah? Drake? Rappers? NBA players? NFL players? Mlb players? Where is rev al? They don’t care….

    • Are you out of your mind? These are occurring in states with Democrat governors, in cities with Democrat mayors and police chiefs, the rioters are blacks and Antifa members and Bernie Bros, and you have the nerve to blame Trump for this?

    • “Animals” who? The protesters or the Police car crossing the barricade and hurting people.? Maybe Both? The same question when the Police charged in and closed shuls. Animals? Who daven against the Law and warning from Rabbis,Doctors or the Police bothering peacefully praying people? Boths?

    • The ones who are setting police cars on fire (which the people in the shuls didn’t do), looting stores (same thing), and so forth. Is that really that hard to understand? Or is it just that you hate Jews so much that you’ll do anything, even excuse violent rioters?

  1. riots, covid, AOC liberals,15% Unemployment etc 1991-1993 revisited. in a year or two Real Estate in NYC will be down 80-90% Hold your cash for Deals of the 21st Century. Manhattan Office building in 1990’s were selling for bubkes.

  2. I’m upset with the Mayor for not enforcing social distancing amongst the demonstrators & rioters. If even one old black man dies because of this, all the demonstrations & riots will be for naught. This is exactly what the liberal Rabbonim were talking about when they paskined it’s assur to daven with a legal safe Minyan. So now the Mayor joins the ranks of rodfim and rotzchim. Chillul Hashem.

  3. All the Stores in our Frum Coummunity’s need to Install a Gate over the Windows/Doors ASAP, Most of the Horrific Looting in NYC tonight took place by stores that only had glass and no gate.

  4. Sharpton, the biggest hypocrite, personally led rioters and encouraged violence, during the 1991 pogrom in Crown Heights, where Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered. At another demonstration, he shouted, “If those diamond merchants want to get it on with me, I’ll pin their yarmulkes back on their heads”. Today, Sharpton suffers from amnesia, as he can’t “seem to remember”, his sordid past.

  5. I have no problem with legitimate and peaceful protestors. However, I have nothing but contempt for those who engage in arson, hooliganism, smashing windows, destroying public property, etc. Why can’t high pressure water hoses from fire engines be trained on those who are throwing bottles, bricks, incendiary devices, and other dangerous objects at first responders? Years ago, I spoke to a NY City Firefighter, who told me that when his engine and ladder company went to put out a fire in either Bedford-Stuyvesant or Brownsville, some fine upstanding citizens waited in ambush for them, and then threw a refrigerator from the roof of a tenement building onto the responding fire trucks. He told me that those disorders somehow didn’t make the newspapers. In Europe and even in Israel, I’ve seen high pressure fire hoses, being used against unruly demonstrators. Water from a high pressure hose is effective at dispersing crowds, and is more humane than tear gas, or pepper spray.

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