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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is scheduled to address the public Monday after the city was rocked over the weekend by protests over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis last week.
The protests, which were sparked after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd a week ago by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest, turned violent in New York City and elsewhere. Images flooded social media over the weekend of police clashing with protesters, reporters were arrested on live television and businesses were destroyed.
De Blasio’s 25-year-old daughter, Chiara, was among those arrested in New York City for unlawful assembly on Saturday. The New York Post reported that she refused to leave a Manhattan site after officers ordered protesters to clear out because people were throwing things. The Associated Press reported that more than 4,400 people across the country have been arrested at protests over the past few days.
De Blasio on Sunday defended the NYPD’s response to protesters and lauded officers for showing “tremendous restraint,” even as the department faced sweeping criticism in the face of videos that some said showed abuse of protesters. De Blasio did call for an investigation into at least one incident in which two police vehicles drove into a group of protesters.
“I didn’t like what I saw one bit,” he said Sunday of a video showing the confrontation.
Health officials have warned that the protests and mass gatherings will likely exacerbate the coronavirus outbreak in the most vulnerable communities. Black Americans make up a disproportionate share of the deaths in the U.S. caused by the coronavirus because of factors including income inequality and disparity in access to health care.
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