U.S Protests: New York City Declares Curfew

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday imposed a curfew for New York City as protesters of the death of George Floyd prepare for another night of demonstration.

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Speaking in a live radio programme, Cuomo said the curfew would hold between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Tuesday, and could be extended depending on the situation.

The directive came after protests in parts of the city turned violent, resulting in vandalisation and looting of dozens of shops from late Sunday night into early Monday.

About 4,000 police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order during the Sunday protests, a number the governor said would be doubled.

“There is going to be a curfew in New York City that we think could be helpful and more importantly there is going to be an increase in the force in New York City.

“There will be double that (number of policemen), about 8,000, tonight.

“It is from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. tonight and then we’ll see where we are tomorrow,” Cuomo said.

He said the move was necessitated by the “violent looting, vandalism and clashes” that had characterised the protests in the city.

The governor said the protests had been partly hijacked by criminals whose aim, according to him, is to destroy.

New York City Mayor, Mr Bill de Blasio, who also announced the curfew on Twitter, said in a statement that violence should not be allowed to undermine the “message of this moment”.

Many U.S. cities, including Washington, have seen violent street demonstrations over the death of Floyd, an African-American, in police custody Minneapolis on May 25.

The protesters are demanding an end to racism and police brutality, a struggle that has gained the support of prominent figures and police officers themselves.

On Monday, two doctors engaged by Floyd’s family to conduct an independent autopsy on his body declared his death a homicide.

They said the 46-year-old died from asphyxiation (lack of oxygen) after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The finding contradict the findings of an initial official autopsy which said it found no evidence of traumatic strangulation.

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