NEW YORK – Wednesday brought cool tensions between protesters and police as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York City police department.
Cuomo has reportedly apologized to the NYPD brass privately after Police Commissioner Dermot Shea recalled Tuesday, when the governor accused police of not engaging in widespread robbery. He asserted on Wednesday that his criticism was directed at how the police were transferred, not the officers themselves.
“The actual cops are the best,” Cuomo said in his daily press briefing. “My issue is with management and deployment. It’s not about the police.”
But the day before, Cuomo said, “New York City police were not effective at doing their jobs last night. Period” – a statement Shea said was “shameful.” Terence Monahan is the governor who repeated the apology he offered to the police brass.
“I expect him to go out in public and say it again,” Monahan said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, but Cuomo was kidnapped when asked by journalists
“I spoke to the police commissioner and said the same thing I just told you and the same thing I just said yesterday, that this is a management and deployment issue.”
The accompanying rhetoric was accompanied by a more chaotic riot in the city as protests continued without much of the devastation seen the night before. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Shea met at an 8 p.m. curfew and a police presence with the presence of burglary and property damage in the Midtown and South Bronx.
“Last night we made the transition to this very difficult time, we have these last days and move on to a better time,” de Blasio told a Wednesday newspaper in the press.
There were several mass arrests during the curfew, and a group of demonstrators walking across the Manhattan Bridge were prevented from entering Chinatown and turned around after a tense police stop blocking the off ramp.
The mayor and Shea said there were separate instances of violence against officials and numerous break-ins, but that more disturbing elements coincided with mass demonstrations were less prevalent on Tuesday night compared to Tuesday night. the night before, prompting Cuomo to prepare state and national police for deployment to five bureaucrats. He did not mention formal treading the situation Wednesday.
“The protesters are more peaceful. The police officers have the numbers and the ability to do their jobs and the results last night were many, different than the night before and that’s about it,” he said. “I think the people in New York City today feel better than they did after the night of the robbery.”
Monahan, Shea and de Blasio went on to say that outside and criminal elements have condemned most violence in recent days, though officials have left it unclear who the groups are or where they came from. On Wednesday morning, Shea said pre-staged tranches of bricks and stones were delivered at several demonstrations, construction sites were robbed of similar materials and in some cases water bottles cement trees were hurled at the officers. However, apart from an enthusiastic reference to California, the administration has yet to specify in more detail who these groups are.
The mayor also declined to go into detail about changes to the police disciplinary process. The de Blasio administration will face legislation from the City Council that would create a more standardized system of punishment for misconduct by officials and criminalize the use of chokeholds and other neck restraints. Lawmakers also want to document the NYPD’s budget, something the mayor pushed Wednesday.
“For people who say police are defunding, I would say that’s not the way forward,” he said, noting that the department needed money for community policing and reaching out to young New Yorkers.
The mayor warned that the protests would likely contribute to an additional spike in Covid-19 cases because the city is set to enter the opening process, however, as the city posted low numbers Wednesday. and the testing and monitoring program is up and running, de Blasio hopes it will have minimal impact.
The city reported 39 people admitted to hospitals Tuesday for suspected Covid-19 cases, more than 350 people still in intensive care units in public hospitals and 4 percent of positive results. a New York trial for New Yorkers screened for the disease.