Former NYPD chief weighs in on New York City's handling of violent protests

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The rampant overnight looting and confrontations with police in New York City are drawing both sharp criticism and a closer look at how the situations were handled.

Robert Boyce, former NYPD Chief of Detectives and now an ABC News Consultant, believes in retrospect that things could have been dealt with differently.

"I see some things that should have been corrected, that could have been corrected," he said.

Boyce thinks that other groups are drawing more significant concerns than the peaceful protesters who have been expressing their anger over the death of George Floyd.

"Anarchists who have come into the city to take charge of looting and creating havoc and destruction, which they are doing," Boyce said.

It is believed they pose a greater danger as splinter groups breaking away from other protest groups. They also consume police resources.

"They are well organized, they have scouts, they communicate, they set up supplies to be thrown at the police department," Boyce said. "Bottles, rocks, gasoline bombs, this is quite dangerous."

The former chief also believes a late curfew added to the problem.

"They made their adjustments knowing there was an 11 p.m. curfew," he said. "That was a huge mistake by the mayor and the governor to have that late a curfew at night."

The curfew since been moved up to 8 pm, and Boyce believes a more significant police presence is also needed.

"They have 12-hour tours right now, which has a standard operating procedure," he said. "They increased their uniform detail from 4,000 to 8,000 officers. It should have been that immediately. So you can't let these things happen."

Another surprise was the targeting of Macy's and other high profile Midtown stores.

"Those should have been secured by police officers, a detail in front of those locations," Boyce said. "And this was all before 11 p.m."

Police are battling what Boyce believes are domestic terrorists.

"We know who they are," he said. "It is just they are tough to fight."

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