New Jersey communities clean up after protests turned into violence, looting

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Monday, June 1, 2020
Atlantic City extends curfew for another week
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Atlantic City extends a 7 p.m. curfew for another week due to the riots.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Curfews have been put into effect in Atlantic City, Trenton and other New Jersey municipalities after Sunday night's protests turned destructive.

In Atlantic City the curfew from 7pm to 6am will be in effect until June 8. During the curfew, only people traveling to or from work, or seeking medical or police assistance are permitted.

Tiny shards of glass were swept up and windows were boarded up, volunteers and contractors working side by side after about 20 businesses were damaged and looted in Atlantic City Sunday night, most of them in the Tanger Outlets.

"We are not the problem but we will be the solution to help build the city all over again," said Lonniyell from Egg Harbor Township, who came to the clean-up with her two daughters.

"We want to see people do stuff for a good cause and we don't want to see people tearing down the city and stealing. You want to keep George Floyd's name alive and do it for the right cause," said Maurice Hubbard of Galloway Township, N.J.

The protests began peacefully in Atlantic City Sunday afternoon as demonstrators expressed outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but turned violent and destructive as some of the protesters burglarized businesses that have been closed for months because of COVID-19.

Mayor Marty Small said of the 17 people were arrested on Sunday night, six were from Atlantic City. No injuries were reported. He expressed frustration at the looting on top of the city's pandemic-ravaged economy.

"This is our business district. They provide jobs for our children. Some of your nieces and nephews and cousins work here in the summer. What if they don't open back up?" said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small.

In Trenton, officials say around 50 businesses were damaged Sunday. Police say 28 people were arrested - eight of them were from out of state. Latino business owners and city officials addressed the unrest on Monday.

"This was done between outsiders and local people from the community. And we don't understand because we feel the pain of the African American community. We feel the pain as brown people," said Manuel Hernandez, President of the Latino Merchant Association of New Jersey, outside a heavily damaged liquor store.

"This is taking a step backwards. We've enacted a 7 o'clock curfew for the time being," said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.

A spokesperson for the New Jersey National Guard said at this time they are not deploying locally. 85 members are deploying Monday evening to Washington, D.C. to help with protests there.