In the first hours after the 8 p.m. curfew fell on New York City on Wednesday, clashes erupted between the police and protesters, including a melee in Downtown Brooklyn that was captured on camera and widely circulated on social media.
The widespread looting that had characterized some of the previous nights seemed to be under control, but the aggression displayed by the police against New Yorkers peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis presented a fresh crisis for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has praised the police for their “tremendous restraint” toward protesters.
Former allies denounced his leadership. New Yorkers called for the resignation of Mr. de Blasio and his police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea. Former aides bickered on Twitter about his performance, and their possibly self-interested desire to distance themselves from the unpopular mayor.
And when it seemed like Mr. de Blasio’s day could not get worse, an assailant stabbed a police officer in the neck, sparking a gunfight that left two additional officers wounded, and commanded the mayor to Kings County Hospital for an early-morning news conference on Thursday.
“The most charitable assessment is that his mayoralty is currently on life support,” Neal Kwatra, a former adviser to both Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo, said in a text message.
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