The looting and destruction in New York City's Manhattan was "anarchy on the streets," said CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter earlier tonight.
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.
"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," he said. "Between 9 and 11 p.m., it was a real sense of anarchy on the streets in Midtown Manhattan."
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.
"Property damage is nowhere near as important as physical loss of life ... (but) I want you to know the property damage is widespread," he said.
Aerial videos of Midtown close to midnight showed looters running down streets in groups, playing a "cat and mouse game" with police, Stelter said.
Across the East River, there were up to a thousand 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.