Iconic New York Macy’s Looted in Chaotic Night of Smash-and-Grab Thefts

June 2, 2020 Updated: June 2, 2020

President Donald Trump urged New York City authorities to call in the National Guard after initially peaceful George Floyd demonstrations devolved into scenes of chaos late June 1, as a curfew failed to prevent a spate of smash-and-grab thefts in Manhattan and looters from breaking into the flagship Macy’s store on 34th Street.

As the 11 p.m. deadline to get off the streets approached, bands of protesters marched peacefully through Manhattan and Brooklyn, but police simultaneously responded to numerous reports of roving groups of people smashing their way into shops and emptying them of merchandise.

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Police vehicles park outside Macy’s store after it was broken into hours after a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd, in New York City, on June 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Looters at one point breached the doors of Macy’s iconic Manhattan store, with footage shared on social media showing a large crowd swarming around the entrance as an explosion outside sent a fireball about a dozen feet into the air.

In the Bronx, an NYPD sergeant was hit by a car, with the NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA) saying in a tweet: “This A.M. we are praying for our injured  @NYPD44Pct sergeant who was struck by a fleeing vehicle last night, and all of our brothers and sisters who have been run down, knocked down or almost shot down during this chaos. It has to stop. NOW.”

In a separate incident caught on camera and shared by NYC PBA, an NYPD officer unholstered his weapon after his supervisor was struck in the back of the head by an assailant throwing a brick.

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Police officers arrest a large group of people at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on June 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Another video showed a group of men beating a police officer who was alone and down on the ground, smashing him with pieces of wreckage until he pulled his gun and they ran.

A police spokesperson told NBC News that around 700 people were arrested as a result of looting and rioting late June 1, with authorities announcing that the curfew would be brought forward to 8 p.m. on June 2.

Trump wrote on Twitter on June 2, saying that New York City had succumbed to “looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all other forms of Lowlife & Scum,” adding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had refused his offer to bring in the National Guard.

In a follow-up tweet, the president urged New York City authorities to bring in the Guard, saying, “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!”

Besides trashing Macy’s, looters smashed storefronts of designer shops along Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, as well as other establishments, many of which were ransacked by perpetrators of smash-and-grab thefts.

Dramatic video posted on Twitter on June 2 by the account NYC Scanner, captioned “West 34th street is out of control after FootLocker was looted,” showed dozens of looters swarming a Sprint store, reportedly just 50 feet away from a Foot Locker shop that had been broken into and burglarized.

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Protesters loot a NY Yankee store during demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, in New York City, on June 1, 2020. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

The looters are seen dispersing as a police officer approaches and tries—but fails—to apprehend one of the suspects running out the door. As the officer has his back turned to the store, the camera pans to show two individuals lurking by the door, as if ready to dart back inside for more looting.

As in previous days, the demonstrations in daylight were peaceful, with chaos descending on parts of the city as night fell.

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