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UN chief: ‘Heartbroken’ to see violence in US amid George Floyd protests

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United Nations Secretary General António Guterres addressed the protests that have rocked most major U.S. cities, including New York, since the death of George Floyd, condemning both vandalism and police brutality against protesters.

“I am heartbroken to see violence on the streets in our host country and our host city of New York,” Guterres tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Grievances must be heard, but should be expressed peacefully – and authorities must show restraint in responding to demonstrations.” The tweet included a graphic reading “Racism is an abhorrence that we must all reject.”

New York has imposed a nightly curfew through June 7 for the first time in more than six decades in response to unrest, while Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) have engaged in a war of words over who is responsible for looting and vandalism in the city.

“The NYPD and the Mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said Tuesday, adding, “It was a disgrace.”

“I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem,” Cuomo continued. “I think he underestimates the duration of the problem. And I don’t think they’ve used enough police to address the situation because it’s inarguable … that it was not addressed last night.”

Anticipating another night of protests, the city has banned vehicle traffic below 96th Street for all but local residents, essential workers, buses and truck deliveries after curfew.

Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis, was killed last week after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he was unable to breathe. Chauvin has been arrested on charges of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree manslaughter.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Antonio Guterres Bill de Blasio George Floyd New York City United Nations
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