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Shame of a city: Looting rampage undermines the protests in New York | amNewYork

Shame of a city: Looting rampage undermines the protests in New York

Protesters flee as they loot the Balenciaga store in SoHo after marching against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

While thousands took to the streets Monday to seek justice in the wake of the police-involved death of Minneapolis’ George Floyd, hundreds used the event as cover to go on a looting rampage across New York City.

As night fell, the looters smashed and bashed their way into shuttered stores in Manhattan, from designer retailers in SoHo to chain pharmacies in Midtown. They even hit up a few banks and pried open the ATMs for the cash inside.

Even the iconic Macy’s department store in Herald Square wasn’t spared, as looters vandalized the landmark retailer and set fires outside it.

The 11 p.m. curfew couldn’t stop the shopping spree, as the frenzy went on into the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Neither could the plywood barriers or roll-down gates that the retailers employed. 

A fire is seen as Macy’s department store is targeted by looters in Herald Square on June 1, 2020. (MIKAL DASKIVICH /via REUTERS)
Looters figured out how to breach the rolldown gates of this Foot Locker store on Broadway in the East Village on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)
Protesters loot the Balenciaga store at 149 Mercer St. in SoHo on June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)
Looters ripped the plywood off of storefronts in Union Square on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)
Police look at some of the damage done by looters at the Nordstrom Rack store in Union Square on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)

Police reported at least 700 arrests citywide for looting as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. 

Throughout Monday, public officials warned residents about looting, vandalism, assaults on police officers and other acts that served to undermine the message of the peaceful protests following Floyd’s death last week. The pursuit of criminal justice reform by the many, they argued, would be overshadowed by the criminal acts of the few advantageous individuals.

Still, the shameful looting went on — and New Yorkers who want peace and justice are left to ask, “Why?”

People take items from a damaged store during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)
Looters at the Foot Locker on Broadway in the East Village. (Photo by Dean Moses)
A looter is detained by police officers amid nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in SoHo. (REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid)
The ransacked interior of the Zumiez store in Union Square on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)
An NYPD officer stands outside a CVS store in Midtown after it had be vandalized amid the unrest on June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
Clothing hangers left behind on the sidewalk in Union Square. (Photo by Dean Moses)
NYPD officers try to take control of the SoHo area as they detain protesters who were looting in local stores on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
This smoke and vape shop in the East Village was bashed on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)
A view shows a looted Sephora store after a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Manhattan on June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs)
A protester gives away shoes looted in a local store in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
NYPD officers detain a protester who was involved in a looting of a store in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Protesters break into an ATM during a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at a Duane Reade pharmacy in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
NYPD officers detain a protester who was looting inside a branch of Bank of America after marching against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Protesters loot a store after marching against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
NYPD officers detain a protester who was looting in a store after marching against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
A protester smiles as he is detained by NYPD officers for being involved in a looting of a store in Manhattan on June 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

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