NYC business owners urge Gov. Cuomo to deploy National Guard amid looting
Big Apple businesses are up in arms after another night of looting amid George Floyd protests — and want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deploy the National Guard.
“The governor has, on the ready, the National Guard. Now it’s a question of, are we going to deploy them?” said Mark Jaffe, president and CEO of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. “Can NYPD get this looting under control in the city?”
“They’re asking for help,” Jaffe said. “The National Guard is ready to give that help.”
The call comes after another night of chaos in the five boroughs, with looters taking advantage of demonstrations over Floyd’s death to wreak havoc on local businesses.
On Monday, looters ransacked Macy’s flagship Herald Square store, as well as small businesses from the Bronx to Lower Manhattan — with the overworked NYPD, out in force to quell unruly demonstrations, doing their best to keep up with the looting.
“I think you need the numbers to really deal with the number of people that have come into New York City to protest, to express their views,” said Harvey Moscot, whose family-owned eyewear business has been in Manhattan for 105 years. “You needed more people, you needed more law enforcement.”
Not only was the company’s Orchard Street store ransacked over the weekend, the family’s new outlet in Los Angeles was also trashed.
“You know, you pay your taxes for 105 years in the city of New York and you expect law enforcement to protect you, to maintain civility, and that has not happened,” Moscot said. “And the National Guard assisting could’ve contributed to a better outcome … In hindsight, you needed more support. There was not enough support.”
Cuomo has said that there are 13,000 National Guard troops on standby throughout the state and are available to local mayors — but has appeared reluctant to deploy them, saying during his daily briefing Tuesday that “you’d have to displace the mayor.”
“I do believe the NYPD, well-deployed, wouldn’t need the National Guard,” he said.
However, Rep. Max Rose, a Brooklyn Democrat, on Tuesday called for the guard to be sent in to assist the NYPD.
Business owners interviewed by the Post agreed.
“If they’re available? Absolutely, 100 percent,” said Elliot Kurland, owner of Leica SoHo camera store, which was ransacked Sunday. “Look what happens every night.”
“If we have these National Guard available? I mean, I lived through 9/11. I saw the National Guard all over. They saved us from more bad things happening. If they had been available, if they were around the city, none of this would’ve happened.”
One Manhattan retail executive said, “I think they should bring in tanks to prevent this.”
Additional reporting by Lisa Fickenscher
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