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NYC Reels After Days of Unrest amid Nationwide Protests

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press

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New York City officials were looking for a peaceful way forward after three days of protests against police brutality that left police cars burned and led to the arrest of hundreds of people.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wasn't considering a curfew after largely peaceful protests around the city Saturday gave way to scattered clashes between police and protesters later in the evening.

Demonstrators smashed shop windows, threw objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads.

New York City police said 345 people were arrested, 33 officers were injured and 27 police vehicles were damaged.

“We believe in peaceful protest. We believe in civil disobedience. We believe in people exercising their democratic rights, but not attacking police officers, not attacking communities,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at briefing late Saturday night.

Similar protests flared around the nation in response to the Minnesota death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was black, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.

Cleanup was under way Sunday morning in New York City, which is still under a lockdown enacted two months ago when it became the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the Brooklyn block where two police cruisers lurched into a crowd of demonstrators Saturday, knocking several to the ground, the only sign of the previous night's disturbance was a small pile of glass shards in the street.

Workers power washed the sidewalk and cleaned up graffiti outside the Barclays Center, the site of two nights of demonstrations. In another Brooklyn neighborhood, the burnt remains of a police van torched by protesters were removed. Soot and broken glass was all that remained.