New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday criticized the NYPD and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for not doing enough to stop looting and property destruction on Monday night. He also insisted that he has the ability to remove de Blasio from office, but said “we’re not at that point.”
“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said in his Albany press conference. “The police in New York City were not effective in doing their job last night. Period. They have to do a better job.”
Monday night, which was the city’s first under curfew since 1943, saw widespread chaos and looting in Manhattan and the Bronx – as well as large, peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in police custody. In response, de Blasio extended the curfew for the rest of the week and moved it up from 11 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cuomo said de Blasio “underestimated the scope of the problem,” and should have had more police officers in the streets. On Sunday, 4,000 NYPD officers were out. That number was doubled last night. Cuomo said the entire force should be in action.
“You have 38,000 NYPD people,” Cuomo said. “It is the largest police department in the United State of America. Use 38,000 people and protect property.”
De Blasio turned down an offer to send in the National Guard, Cuomo said. He also referenced his ability to “displace” de Blasio and bring the National Guard into New York himself.
Cuomo said he doesn’t think that is necessary at this point, given how chaotic the situation already is.
“Can you displace a mayor?” Cuomo mused. “Yes, a mayor can be removed. It has not happened. I cannot find a precedent. But theoretically it is legally possible. It is a bizarre thing to try to do in this situation. I think it would only make a bad situation worse. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary.”