‘TOTAL ANARCHY’: New York smashed by swarms of armed looters

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The streets of New York City have been overrun by hundreds of people wielding baseball bats and other weapons as they loot and destroy luxury stores across Manhattan.

Unrest has spread to more than 70 US cities with hundreds of men wielding baseball bats and other weapons taking to the streets of Philadelphia and “anarchy” in New York where looters are causing havoc.

Disturbing images are emerging from across the nation including a police officer pointing a rubber bullet gun toward a child and protesters scrambling from teargas.

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Some described ‘anarchy’ on New York streets as hundreds of people loot stores including luxury outlets in Manhattan.

TV images showed throngs looting luxury stores along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, one of the cities busiest shopping districts, before the city’s 11pm curfew.

Social media footage also showed people grabbing items from electronics store Best Buy before police arrive wielding batons.

The images come as  US President Donald Trump walked around Washington’s Lafayette Square and posed in front of a boarded up church near the White House after making a brief statement.

The President made the appearance after protesters were cleared from the area with tear gas and horses, moments before he spoke, vowing to restore “law and order”.

He has vowed to use the US military to halt protests over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died in Minneapolis police custody after being pinned beneath a white officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes.

Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd, was arrested on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

Three other officers involved in the arrest have not been charged.

Floyd’s death was the latest case of police brutality against black men caught on videotape and has prompted an outcry over racism in US law enforcement.

Many Americans have attended anti-police brutality marches and rallies, which have turned violent after dark each night over the last week.

The looting also extended further south into Herald Square and the iconic Macy’s building, which was broken into. CNN reports there were also fires set and buildings vandalised.

“I witnessed an eyeglass shop being looted. In some cases, just windows being smashed. And other cases stores are being broken into. This has been going on for at least two hours,” CNN reporter Brian Stelter said. “Between 9 and 11pm, it was a real sense of anarchy on the streets in Midtown Manhattan.”

People take items from a New York store hours after a solidarity rally. Picture: Wong Maye-E/AP

An emptied mobile shop is seen in Lower Manhattan. Picture: Johannes Eisele/AFP

A curfew has now passed there but thousands remain on the streets.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the curfew would be moved to 8pm on Tuesday.

People loot a store in New York. Picture: Bryan R Smith/AFP

Looters walk next to a smashed store in Lower Manhattan. Picture: Johannes Eisele/AFP

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