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Courtesy of Mayor's office
Councilman Robert Holden says the NYPD is stretched too thin to handle nightly riots and he's calling for the National Guard to be deployed.

As Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the nightly citywide curfew will be expanded through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., one Queens lawmaker was calling for the National Guard to be deployed in New York City in the wake of riots, looting and vandalism throughout the five boroughs.

Asked during his morning press briefing Tuesday if the city needed the National Guard, the mayor was dismissive.

“No. We do not need or do we think it’s wise for the National Guard to be in New York City, nor any armed forces,” de Blasio said. “Someone needs a history lesson. When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it.”

During the same briefing, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the NYPD had made nearly 700 arrests for looting and other offenses and attacks on officers during Monday night, the first night of curfew with more than 8,000 officers patrolling the city, more than double the amount in the field the night before.

“The events that have unfolded last night in this city, and across the nation, run counter to the message of the peaceful protests striving for change and justice for George Floyd,” Councilman Robert Holden said. “Looting, rioting and vicious beatdowns of random passersby should never be tolerated, and the people committing heinous criminal acts must be dealt with. Our men and women in the NYPD are overwhelmed, with several of them being crowded by rioters in their vehicles, or having bricks or Molotov cocktails thrown at them. While Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sit in their secured ivory towers playing politics, our great city is burning; the final stage of de Blasio’s policies bring us back to the ’70s.”

During his own press briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had the National Guard on standby and would not be sent to the city unless the NYPD failed to quell the violence.

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that,” Cuomo said. “Second, you have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police department in America. Use 38,000 people and protect property. Use the police, protect property and people.”

Cuomo reiterated that the looters were outside provocateurs separate from the peaceful protestors, and on that point, Holden seemed to agree.

“It is time that we take back our streets, and that our police officers are given the support they need to deal with the anarchists who have taken advantage of peaceful protests,” Holden said. “Governor Cuomo has said the National Guard is ready, but Mayor de Blasio refuses to ask for their help while also admitting that the NYPD is stretched thin and cannot stop all incidents of looting. We need the mayor to stop pandering to political correctness and allow the National Guard to help New York City regain control.”

The mayor remained adamantly opposed to calling on the National Guard to be deployed.

“I’m going to ask community leaders and elected officials to back me up, unless you think you want to take that chance, which case I’m going to say, you’re going to regret it,” de Blasio said. “When you bring in people not trained for the circumstances, but still with loaded weapons and put under horrible stress, really bad things happen. Let’s let the folks who are trained for the situation, 36,000 members of the NYPD. We’re going to keep making adjustments, but no, the answer is not instant gratification, let’s bring in outside armed forces and everything’s going to be great. No, it’s dangerous. It will make things worse.”

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