New York City’s police department says that 303 police vehicles have been vandalized in anti-racism and Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the city — and subsequent riots — costing the city around a million dollars in damages.
Like other major city police departments, the New York Police Department (NYPD) faced off against massive protests in the days following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Many of those protests gave way to riots, which caused major property damage across the city.
The NYPD now says that it suffered its own property damage, and at least 14 of its police vehicles are beyond repair, per ABC News.
“The department said Monday that 14 vehicles were a total loss because of fire damage, seven are still being repaired and the rest have returned to service,” the outlet reported. “Several people were arrested in the early days of the unrest for allegedly hurling Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in Brooklyn. Those cases are still pending in federal court.”
“In the latest incident, Saturday night in Manhattan, a man was seen on video using a protest sign to bash the window of a parked police van while another man sprayed graffiti onto an adjacent police van,” ABC News continued.
The NYPD says the total cost of repairing and replacing the damaged vehicles could be a million dollars — a hefty price tag considering that officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, are pressing for further cuts to the police department’s budget.
That cost, though, is minuscule compared to the overall cost of the riots.
Per Fox News and the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, damage from days of rioting and looting could cost the city “tens of millions of dollars.”
“That estimate includes the expense of repairs as well as other facets like increased security and insurance costs,” a Manhattan Institute expert told the New York Post. “Pilfered merchandise” alone, she added, could also total in the millions of dollars, though individual retailers will shoulder that cost. New York City is also facing a number of costly lawsuits stemming from crowd control and arrest issues and defending those in court could cost millions.
Marketplace.org notes that riots and unrest have a lasting financial impact on the city not always felt in the first year after a major incident.
“Economic activity in the areas affected [by the Rodney King riots] didn’t return for at least 10 years. At least not to previous levels,” one expert told the outlet. “Those riots cost almost $5 billion in economic activity measured in lost sales over 10 years.”
The George Floyd protests could be “the most expensive disturbance in U.S. history,” experts told Fox News back in June. In Minneapolis, the epicenter of the protests, “where some 400 businesses were damaged, owners and insurance experts estimate costs of the damage to exceed $500 million.”
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