Mayor de Blasio says no need for National Guard in New York City

National Guard members walk at the area in the aftermath of a protest, in Minneapolis
National Guard members walk at the area in the aftermath of a protest after a white police officer was caught on a bystander’s video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that deploying the National Guard to help police control ongoing George Floyd protests was “dangerous” and would “make things worse.” 

“When outside armed forces go into communities no good comes of it,” de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday. “We have seen this for decades…They have not been spending decades on the relationship between police and communities, particularly in the intensive way that it has been worked on in recent years.” 

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he was placing New York City under curfew and that the National Guard would be on standby after nearly a week of protests in the city resulting in looting, fires, graffiti, and scuffles with officers. 

The number of NYPD officers patrolling the streets doubled from 4,000 to 8,000 on Monday night. But despite the increased presence, looting and fires still took place across Manhattan and the Bronx. 

On Tuesday, Cuomo said that he would have to displace Mayor de Blasio to bring in the National Guard in a state of emergency. “I don’t think we are at that point yet,” said Cuomo to reporters. Cuomo encouraged de Blasio to use more of the NYPD’s 38,000 police officers to prevent looting in the city.  

“I’m not happy about last night, the police did not do their job last night,” said Cuomo. “They have protected people before in this situation, I’ve seen them do it before…I believe in the inherent capacity of the NYPD if managed and if deployed. That’s what I think hasn’t worked and what I think has to be fixed today.” 

June 2, marks the sixth day of protests against police brutality in the city sparked by the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd. Floyd died while in police custody after an officer pinned him to the ground by pressing his knee into the back of his neck. 

Nearly 2,000 people have been arrested over the last five days worth of protests with almost 700 arrests Monday night for “looting and other offenses and attacks on officers”, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. 

“We will control this, we have this, and you can have faith in that,” said Shea during a press conference with Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday.