On Tuesday, June 2, the City of New York imposed a citywide night-time curfew that will be in effect between 8 PM and 5 AM every day till the morning of June 8. However, healthcare workers, emergency medical technicians, first responders, essential workers going to and from work, homeless people who do not have any form of shelter available to them, and people seeking medical treatment or supplies are exempt from this curfew.
The curfew imposed in wake of the civil unrest and protests following the racial targeting and murder of George Floyd. The 46-year-old African American man was killed in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white policeman Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck. In his dying minutes that were shot on a cell phone camera and went viral on social media Floyd was seen pleading with the officer saying, “Please, I can’t breathe.” The incident sparked violent protests across the United States and instances or arson, rioting and looting were reported from many areas.
However, while the National Guard was called in many cities including Minneapolis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Mayor de Blasio remained determined to keep them out of NYC. In a televised address, de Blasio said, “We do not need, nor do we think it’s wise for the National Guard to be in New York City.” He explained his decision saying, “When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it.”
Mayor de Blasio also expressed solidarity with protesters but requested them to protest peacefully and during the day time. He tweeted, “Anyone who is upset about the status quo: I am, too. This is why I came here: to change a broken status quo. We have a lot more to do. If you choose to protest today, do it in the daytime hours and then please go home. We have work to do this evening to keep a peaceful city.”
Meanwhile, NYC has also announced universal COVID19 testing for all New Yorkers. Mayor de Blasio said, “Widespread testing holds the key to reopening our city safely.” He added, “With Test & Trace now up and running, we will be able to care for those who test positive and give them the support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.”