New York City has brought an early end to the 8 p.m. curfew order that was issued last week as the city was grappling with looting and violence that marred the massive but largely peaceful protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the order was lifted as of Sunday, one day earlier than originally planned. The order issued June 2 called for most people to be off the streets of New York between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions for essential workers. The order had been scheduled to be in effect through 5 a.m. Monday.
Protests and large-scale marches have continued in spots throughout the five boroughs but the incidents of looting and violence have ebbed. But the curfew itself became a flashpoint for police and protesters, which likely encouraged the decision to lift the order. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the country following the May 25 death of Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after being held down by police with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
On Monday, New York City will begin the Phase One reopening process allowing curbside pickup for retail stores and loosens restrictions on construction, wholesale traders and manufacturing. About 400,000 people are expected to resume work starting next week.
“We’ve had five days in a row, thank God, where we see peaceful protests predominate, an end to the property damage we saw earlier in the week which has no place in this city. Because we had each day a better and better situation, more and more peaceful protesters coming out, better situation overall each day, fewer arrests, I made the decision to end the curfew. And honestly I hope it is the last time that we’ll ever need a curfew in New York City,” de Blasio said, according to WCBS-TV New York. “So the curfew has ended. It is out of effect. It will not be coming back.”
The decision to impose the curfew became a political football between de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month. De Blasio initially resisted the call for a curfew but was lambasted by Cuomo for not doing so after violence and looting erupted in several areas of the nation’s most populous city.
(Pictured: Bill de Blasio)