DC Mayor Sets Curfew Amid Protests, Riots

June 1, 2020 Updated: June 1, 2020

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed overnight curfews for June 1 and June 2 following widespread protests and riots in the nation’s capital.

From 7 p.m. till the following morning, people are forbidden from being outside, Bowser said at a press conference on June 1, moving the May 31, 11 p.m., curfew four hours earlier. Her office said it’s in effect until 6 a.m. each morning.

Reporters and so-called essential workers are exempt from the curfew.

“We did notice that the vast majority of people adhered to the curfew, and at 11 o’clock … people were moving out, which gave the police the opportunity to focus on those people who were intent on breaking the law anyway,” Bowser said, explaining her sudden reversal on May 31 to impose a curfew after initially saying she wouldn’t announce one.

Bowser told reporters that she wasn’t going to impose a curfew because “the people who were destructive last night,” or May 30, “were not likely curfew followers.”

Intelligence gathered by police suggesting organizational operations and tactics prompted her to change her mind, Bowser said, leading her to grant a request for a curfew.

Epoch Times Photo
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks to reporters in front of the damaged Saint John’s Church near the White House on June 1, 2020. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

Later May 31, a curfew went into effect from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“Individuals performing essential duties as authorized by prior Mayor’s Orders, including working media with their outlet-issued credentials and health care personnel, are exempt when engaged in essential functions.”

Bowser is one of dozens of officials across the United States who targeted small groups and individuals gathering or trying to reopen from the pandemic shutdown who hesitated to issue similar condemnations of people gathering in the hundreds and thousands, ostensibly to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last week in police custody in Minneapolis.

Bowser told reporters June 1 that she spent time before the briefing walking around the city to assess the damage caused by rioters.

Epoch Times Photo
A protester throws a U.S. flag into a burning barricade during protests and riots in Washington on May 31, 2020. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

“There is significant damage in the downtown areas, especially in the blocks immediately around Lafayette Square,” she said.

Setting fires, breaking into businesses, and beating down a variety of individuals have become hallmarks of riots across the nation, overshadowing peaceful protests held by people upset by the way Floyd died.

Bowser said officials support First Amendment demonstrations, but “we do not and we will not, allow the continued destruction of our hometown by people who are coming here to protest or by D.C. residents.”

“Every single American should be outraged by the murder of George Floyd. However, smashed windows and looting are becoming a bigger story than the broken systems that got us here,” she said.

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