Fires, Looting, Unrest: Scenes from a Day of George Floyd Protests on the Lower East Side
On May 25, Minneapolis resident George Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Police arrested the 46-year-old black man, with one white officer pinning his knee into the suspect’s neck for eight minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after being taken into custody.
This deadly response has plunged the country into unrest, sparking protests in several major cities.
(The cop, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.)
For local protestors, months of quarantine plus warm weather yesterday created a perfect storm. Below are eyewitness accounts of what went down on the Lower East Side. Including garbage fires along 14th Street and fruit stand fires in Chinatown; stores looted on the Bowery and in SoHo; and the blockage of traffic on the northbound FDR at South Street.
“Second Avenue, Astor Place, Broadway is a mess of fire and broken glass,” blogger Jeremiah Moss wrote on Facebook. “I watched protesters smash the windows of Wells Fargo and light trash cans on fire. Helicopters overhead. Rats on the sidewalk. It’s another world out there.”
Smaller businesses were also hit, including B&H, Le Fournil, Cooper’s Craft & Kicthen & Kona Coffee. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/ZxBLag7zfs
— evgrieve (@evgrieve) May 31, 2020
Fires on 14th st pic.twitter.com/ISFf3yHyhB
— ジェームズ (@filmismygf) May 31, 2020
Protesters head up the FDR.. pic.twitter.com/71xbctcVje
— twobridgestower (@twobridgestower) May 31, 2020
Large group of (mostly very young) protestors stop traffic to cross Delancey in the lower east side New York. Cars honk and clap in support. #newyork #NewYorkprotest #blacklivesmatter #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/8FHZ0AbImo
— Dominique G. (@Domgabguil) May 31, 2020
— Monish (@moenichedee) May 31, 2020