New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called recent looting and unrest in New York City 'inexcusable,' publicly blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police Department and suggesting that he could override de Blasio to send the National Guard into the city.
Cuomo, who has frequently feuded with his fellow Democrat de Blasio, spoke after instances of property destruction and looting, particularly in midtown Manhattan, amid peaceful protests Monday night.
'The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that,' he said Tuesday during a press conference in Albany.
'I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem. I think he underestimates the duration of the problem. And I don't think they've used enough police to address the situation ... What happened in New York City was inexcusable,' Cuomo said.
He argued that de Blasio should have accepted his offer to use the National Guard, which the mayor has declined.
'My option is to displace the mayor of New York City and bring in the National Guard, as the governor, in a state of emergency and basically take over the mayor's job,' Cuomo said.
But he stressed that he's not at that point yet, and that calling in the National Guard would be 'a chaotic situation in the midst of an already chaotic situation.'
Freddi Goldstein, a spokesman for de Blasio, called Cuomo's remarks 'offensive to the men and women of the NYPD, who are out there every night trying to keep New Yorkers safe.'
'It would be nice if our officers knew they had the respect of their governor,' Goldstein added.
Earlier Tuesday, de Blasio said Guardsmen 'are not trained for the circumstance here, they have not been spending decades working on the relationship between police and community particularly in the intensive way it's been worked on in recent years.'
Cuomo said he has informed cities in New York that he has the National Guard and state police on hand if they require assistance.
The governor also said he would not grant any requests to send National Guard troops out of the state at this time, saying he needs them in New York.
In midtown Manhattan, there was widespread looting along the eastern portion of the neighborhood -- along the high-end shopping district Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, close to Trump Tower.
The looting also extended further south into Herald Square and the iconic Macy's building, which was broken into, he said. There were also fires set and buildings vandalized.
Across the East River, there were up to 1,000 protesters peacefully marching in Brooklyn, despite the citywide curfew in place. When asked whether they will go home, protesters told CNN reporters they need to get their message across against police brutality.