New York City is lifting its curfew spurred by protests against police brutality ahead of schedule, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday morning. The 8pm citywide curfew, which the AP reports is New York's first in decades, had been set to remain in effect through at least Sunday, with the city planning to lift it at the same time it enters the first phase of reopening after more than two months of shutdowns because of the coronavirus. “Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” de Blasio tweeted in his announcement of the curfew's end “effective immediately.” “Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart.” The move followed New York City police pulling back on enforcing the curfew Saturday as thousands took to the streets and parks to protest police brutality, sparked by the death of George Floyd.
More than two hours after curfew passed Saturday night, groups of several hundred demonstrators continued to march in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while police monitored them but took a hands-off approach. Local politicians and civil liberties advocates had called for an end to the 8pm curfew, complaining that it causes needless friction when officers try to enforce it. But de Blasio had initially insisted the curfew would remain in place through the weekend. There were about 40 arrests citywide Friday—far fewer than previous nights—and no obvious signs of the smash-and-grab stealing that marred protests earlier in the week. On Saturday, Antoinette Henry wasn’t surprised people were still marching after more than a week, even though she said she had seen violence from police earlier. “Our first couple of protests ended a bit violently but we’re back out here. We’re not going to stop fighting.”
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