Eight people were arrested on Friday when a group of 150 rioters smashed windows and vandalized the storefronts of lower Manhattan banks and chain stores in New York City, police said.
At least five banks, two Starbucks, and a Duane Reade had their windows smashed in, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage, the New York Post reported.
Police recovered burglary tools, spray paint, two stun guns, and smoke grenades. The protest had been advertised on social media by groups identifying themselves as the far-left “Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement” (RAM) and the “New Afrikan Black Panther Party”
TONIGHT (Friday, September 4th) – 6:00pm – Rally to #DropTheCharges and demand #AmnestyForAll. Where? 100 Centre Street. PULL UP! pic.twitter.com/aBXXtIpb5a
— NYC ABC (@nycabc) September 4, 2020
One of the arrested protesters came from Portland, Oregon, while the other came from Iowa. All face rioting charges, and some face additional charges of weapons and burglary tool possession.
The protest started at 6:00 p.m. at Foley Square. Rioters lit fires in trash cans and scrawled graffiti as they headed north.
“Every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground,” the group was recorded chanting at one point.
About 300 people are near Lafayette and Canal in Manhattan, chanting “every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground”. pic.twitter.com/4D2uA6Z23N
— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) September 4, 2020
Security footage obtained by NBC 4 New York showed a rioter using a tool to smash the windows of a shop while others used umbrellas to shield the alleged vandal from being viewed.
EXCLUSIVE: As protestors take to the streets of New York, a small group of troublemakers are seen smashing windows. We know of at least 8 arrests tonight. One store worker says he understands the protests, but doesn’t get the destruction of property – 11p @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/vr4z76ZqQn
— Adam Harding (@HardingReports) September 5, 2020
Tonight is the night!We call on everyone who stood up during the #GeorgeFloyd uprising and all supporters to come out to say #DropTheCharges for all who have fought for our liberation!This pivotal moment is making history!#FreeThemAll #EndWhiteSupremacy pic.twitter.com/gSnePYJGaY
— RAM NYC (@RevAbolitionNY) September 4, 2020
“We call on everyone who stood up during the #GeorgeFloyd uprising and all supporters to come out to say #DropTheCharges for all who have fought for our liberation! This pivotal moment is making history!#FreeThemAll #EndWhiteSupremacy” wrote RAM NY, the far-left anarchist group that promoted the event on Twitter.