New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unleashed a scathing rebuke on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday for his response to the riots that have taken place throughout the city for several days as peaceful protests against police brutality descended into violence and destruction.
“What happened in New York City was inexcusable,” Cuomo said during his Tuesday press conference, unprompted. “I have offered the National Guard, the mayor has said he can handle it with the NYPD. My option is to displace the mayor of New York City and bring in the National Guard as the governor in a state of emergency and basically take over … the mayor’s job. You’d have to displace the mayor."
But he stopped short of doing so, explaining that he believes the city is "not at that point," and doing so would be more chaotic than it would be productive.
On Tuesday morning, de Blasio extended an 8 p.m. curfew all week in hopes of stopping destruction that continued overnight despite the city's efforts to stop protests over George Floyd's death from devolving into lawless mayhem.
On Monday, an 11 p.m. curfew — the city's first in decades — failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy's flagship Manhattan store.
Police said nearly 700 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets around the nation to express outrage over George Floyd’s May 25 death and other killings of black people, particularly by police. Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck.
Cuomo, who is frequently at odds with the de Blasio, and vice versa, said he believes the mayor "underestimates the scope of the problem."
“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night, I believe that,” Cuomo said at his briefing in Albany. “You have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police department in the United States of America. Use 38,000 people and protect property.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.