Protesters Ignore Curfew as Cuomo Blames de Blasio and Police
Protesters Ignore Curfew as Cuomo Blames de Blasio and Police
Let’s face it. New York is a mess. Between the mishandling of the Covid-19 “crisis” to the current protests, which violate curfew, over the death of George Floyd, the Empire State is in dire straits. Nowhere in the state is worse than New York City.
Protesters once again took to the streets in NYC last night, ignoring the 8 pm curfew. Police, while present, were not making arrests an hour after curfew. This took place just hours after Governor Andrew Cuomo accused Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD of mishandling the protesters (can we all say “looters”?) the night before. Now the two most influential politicians in the state are once again playing politics instead of focusing on doing everything they can to calm the unrest and help the state recover from both the economic and personal crises brought on by their response to Covid-19 and now the looting and destruction of property in the so-called “peaceful protests”.
Yesterday afternoon, Cuomo took to the media to denounce the handling of the previous night’s protests. Not only did he call what happened a “disgrace”, he went on to claim he has the authority to “displace” de Blassio as mayor. But, and I can just imagine his smug smile, he doesn’t want to.
Remember, this is from the man who condemned who knows how many seniors and others living and working in nursing homes by requiring those facilities to accept Covid-19 patients. Oh, and let’s not forget how he then tried to pass the blame first to Trump and then to the nursing homes themselves when even the liberal media called him out for it.
Cuomo’s problem with how de Blassio and NYPD brass handled the protests the night before comes down to the magnitude of response.
You have 38,000 NYPD people, it is the largest police department in the United States of America,” he said. “Use 38,000 people and protect property. Use the police, protect property and people. Look at the videos, it was a disgrace.”
De Blassio and others did not take Cuomo’s criticisms well. At a press conference after Cuomo’s comments “snapped at reporters and called on local leaders to take a more active role in the protests.” Now, I’m all for reporters being snapped at, and I believe local leaders need to be involved in trying to calm this storm that has gripped our nation. But I believe Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has the right of it when he said:
Any comments placing the blame for where we are with this situation on the backs of the men and women of this police department that are putting their lives on the line … I think is disgraceful and he [Cuomo] should be ashamed of himself,” Shea said. “There is politics and there is what is right. And that is a disgraceful comment.”
So is it any surprise that an hour after last night’s curfew not only were protesters still in the streets but cops weren’t making any arrests? Is anyone surprised that two hours after the curfew, looting and vandalism broke out in Midtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village and the Bronx?
If a curfew the night before didn’t work, why did de Blassio think moving it up three hours would work last night? Perhaps Cuomo–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–is right and more boots on the ground are needed. Except–and this is a big “except–the media in NY and across the nation has already decided to use these protests as a reason to condemn the police as a whole. The NYT in its continuous coverage last night noted how some of the officers became “more aggressive” as they tried to disperse the protesters. I guess the Times thinks those protesters and looters should be asked nicely to obey the curfew and told they’d be sent to bed without dinner if they didn’t comply.
NYC isn’t out of control. It is, however, held in the grip of those who don’t understand that protesting doesn’t mean looting and destroying property. It doesn’t mean open season on police officers. It doesn’t matter how many police or other security personnel are put on the streets, until consequences for illegal actions are applied–and both sides–NYC and other cities around the nation will see not only the tenuous steps they’d begun taking to recover from the Covid-19 shutdown erased but will find themselves in even worse economic troubles.
According to the Daily News, “some 300 emboldened marchers about 9 p.m. trashed a Verizon store at Fulton and Broadway, and then made a play for the Brooklyn Bridge, which remained closed and guarded by cops.” When that didn’t work, “they went on a furious window-busting spree along Canal Street. There were no arrests though cops followed the trail of destruction.” These so-called protesters even “beat up” half a dozen Guardian Angels outside a Foot Locker store.
How much more can NY, and especially NYC, take? How much will its citizens put up with before they realize that the infighting between their mayor and their governor is helping no one, especially not them?
We’re sending a message about black people and how our lives matter,” said skateboarder Prince Asiamah, 26, of Coney Island, adding that looting “comes from frustration. Why not loot these businesses? They don’t care about us but they love our culture.”
Except a number of those businesses that have been looted and destroyed are owned by minorities. That doesn’t matter, apparently. All that does is the fact they can smash and burn and hurt others while their mayor and governor point fingers at one another and do nothing except add further restrictions to limit the freedoms of everyone in the city, including those who respect and obey the law.
And what happens when, in 10 days to two weeks, NYC sees a spike in Covid-19 cases? The state was just starting to open back us. Will Cuomo order it shut down again? Smart money is on him doing just that. Then where will the state be? Bankrupt, public services circling the financial toilet and even more private businesses going out of business and more people going on the dole. Welcome to the People’s Republic of New York, run by your not-so-benevolent dictator, Andrew Cuomo.
There is a dialog that needs to be held in this country, but it doesn’t begin with the condemnation of all police. Nor should it include a complete walk for the so-called protesters who have knowingly and willingly caused property damage and theft of goods. It most definitely should not include city and state leaders playing politics at the cost of finding solutions to the problem and the quelling of the looting.
I’d inquire if it is too much to ask for our political leaders to actually lead, but I know the answer. With politicians like Cuomo and de Blassio, it is most definitely too much to ask. They want to rule, not lead. And now, NYC , not to mention the rest of the state, is paying the price.
How many more people have to die–of Covid-19, of violence, of other unnecessary causes–before voters finally get it? Their political representatives are supposed to serve the good of their constituents. That is something too many have forgotten, as both Cuomo and de Blassio have proven over and over again these last few months. Their actions over the last week only drive that lesson home.