Looters targeted several shops and ransacked luxury stores from Manhattan to Soho and Midtown in New York City for the second night in a row, which forced mayor Bill de Blasio to announce to prepone a citywide curfew that went into effect from Monday at 8 p.m. rather than 11 p.m. (local time).
Macy's flagship store on Herald Square and a number of luxury stores along tony Fifth Avenue, for long a symbol of the city's prominence, were shattered as protestors smashed storefronts on several blocks on Monday night, according to visuals cited by The New York Times.
Images posted on social media showed dozens of police officers entering Macy's to go after the people who broke in. The store's windows were covered in plywood.
Authorities said that the number of police officers on the street overnight will also double. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on a radio interview on Monday afternoon. A joint press release from the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio was issued a short time later.
Big crowds rallied in Times Square and Brooklyn in the afternoon and then problems started in the evening. People looted a Nike store in Lower Manhattan. Later in the evening, reports surfaced that people had broken into the flagship Macy's store on 34th Street, Fox News reported.
Videos posted on social media showed police pouring into a door of the boarded-up store.
Before the Monday night curfew went into effect the city already announced that there would be a Tuesday night curfew that would go into effect 3 hours earlier at 8 p.m.
"Unfortunately, there are people who are looking to distract and discredit this moment," Cuomo said.
"The violence and the looting has been bad for the city, the state and this entire national movement," he added.
De Blasio had previously rejected imposing a curfew, as many other cities across the US have done to try to curb violence that erupted amid demonstrations over Floyd's May 25 death, police brutality and racial injustice. But later, following consultations with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and Cuomo about the idea, the mayor changed his idea and said that the Tuesday curfew will be imposed to protect people against violence and property damage.
Earlier in the day, as the protests began to take shape across the city, demonstrators and observers alike said they had never witnessed expressions of grief and anger of such magnitude.
( With inputs from ANI )