Minneapolis Mayor Imposes Citywide Curfew To Stanch Civil Unrest

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MAY 29: Police officers block a road on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National Guard has been activated as protests continue after the death of Geo... MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MAY 29: Police officers block a road on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National Guard has been activated as protests continue after the death of George Floyd which has caused widespread destruction and fires across Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 29, 2020 5:43 p.m.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has announced a citywide curfew Friday and Saturday nights after days of civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

The curfew lasts from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time.

“During the hours of curfew, all persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place,” the order reads. Violating the order is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

The order says that locals are at risk of “significant injury and death” during the current civil unrest, and that the curfew is being imposed because “much of the destruction and violence has taken place under the cover of darkness.”

The city has reached a boiling point in recent days, after police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine agonizing minutes, while the Chauvin pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

Agitated bystanders yelled for Chauvin to get up. By the time he did, Floyd was unresponsive and declared dead soon after.

Chauvin and three officers with him at the scene were fired from the force, but protesters took to the streets, enraged that they hadn’t been arrested.

On Friday, Chauvin was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

In the meantime, destruction has rained down on the city as businesses were looted, protesters pelleted with police’s rubber bullets and a police precinct station torched.

It is unclear if the violence will continue at such a fever pitch now that Chauvin has been arrested.

Historically, curfews have been imposed to quell violence in times of civil unrest.

In 2018, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposed one as protests raged after the mysterious death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Curfews were imposed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 amid protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. Los Angeles was put under curfew in 1992 during the riots that followed the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating Rodney King.

Read Frey’s curfew order here.

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