After four straight nights of anarchy and unrest across the US, demonstrations in dozens of cities across the US took on a distinctly more peaceful tone during night No. 5, as several tense situations were successfully de-escalated, while demonstrations and in some cases violent protests sprang up in Europe and around the world.
Tuesday evening was the 7th night of protests (if one counts from the first rallies in Minneapolis) and the fifth night of nationwide unrest, as demonstrations had spread to other cities by Friday.
After closing all of Manhattan below 96th street to cars, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an end to “coordinated criminal activity” and looting. Fortunately, the protests on Tuesday night were much less violent and chaotic. A clash between protesters and police was avoided on the Manhattan Bridge, where police allowed them to turn around and walk back to Manhattan. Some store owners lined the streets and “cheered on the demonstrators”, CNN reported. We imagine many more stood outside their boarded up stores with makeshift weapons, ready to take matters into their own hands after the NYPD refused to intervene to stop looters in parts of the city last night.
Looting broke out in downtown Brooklyn at Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street, an area with a lot of big box stores and the Atlantic Terminal mall near the Barclays Center. The department also said there was a shooting in Crown Heights, where a cop shot “somebody with a firearm”.
Though they remained mostly peaceful, thousands of demonstrators steadfastly refused to abide by Mayor de Blasio’s 8pmET curfew, likely because the mayor refused to bring in the national guard and state troopers to assist the NYPD.
“Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us,” Evan Kutcher, one of hundreds of demonstrators who stood outside the Barclays Center chanting Floyd’s name Tuesday evening, told the AP. “We’re here because something needs to change.”
In Philadelphia on Tuesday, CNN noted that protests culminated in a nine-minute “moment” of silence, while city officials opted to move a controversial statue of a former mayor that had become a locus for vandalism.