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The president should “revoke” coronavirus assistance to anyone arrested for looting, an official has suggested.
New York City Councilman Joseph “Joe” Borelli, R-South Shore, recently spoke with President Donald Trump, suggesting that greater punitive action needs to be taken to deter looting around the city, according to SI Live.
“Witnessing looters emptying Apple stores and exiting the store only to be violently assaulted and robbed by other criminals has shaken the confidence of everyday New Yorkers who are afraid to travel to work, hospitals, and shop for necessities,” Borelli said.
Protests started in the city over the weekend following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody. As protesters clashed with police, looters – a mix of opportunists and third-party instigators – took advantage of the situation.
The rise in violence forced Mayor Bill de Blasio to issue a citywide curfew through Sunday night. The curfew failed to reduce criminal activity, forcing de Blasio to push for an earlier start time.
Borelli believes that the city leaders aren’t doing enough to deter the violence and that threatening much-needed federal support and benefits could get the job done. Currently, unemployment benefit under the CARES Act provides $600 a week, but Borelli doesn't see why people should see a double benefit.
“It is unfair and unacceptable that people who are furloughed from retail stores are receiving the same supplemental benefit as those who are smashing and looting retail stores and I hope this can be addressed immediately,” he said.
The NYPD said Wednesday that they had arrested about 290 people for protesting and looting overnight.
However, de Blasio told reporters that Tuesday night was a “step forward” in reducing the violence and criminal activity seen throughout the weekend.