County And Municipalities Delcare Curfews Following Wilmington Riots

(Photo via Facebook: Katy Caffarél) : Wilmington Police officers taking a knee in front of protestors in downtown Wilmington on Monday afternoon. That followed a tense protest on Sunday night. The City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and area municipalities implemented curfews on Tuesday. (Photo via Facebook: Katy Caffarél) : Wilmington Police officers taking a knee in front of protestors in downtown Wilmington on Monday afternoon. That followed a tense protest on Sunday night. The City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and area municipalities implemented curfews on Tuesday.

County And Municipalities Delcare Curfews Following Wilmington Riots Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 02 June 2020 17:51

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

WILMINGTON - New Hanover County, the City of Wilmington and Carolina Beach and Kure Beach adopted a curfew from 9pm to 5am until further notice in response to ongoing protests in downtown Wilmington following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd's death was the result of a police officer named Derek Chauvin placing his knee on the neck of Floyd while other officers watched but did not help to pull the officer off of Floyd prior to his death.

Since the murder of Floyd, cities throughout the U.S. have experienced protests calling for justice. In many cities, peaceful protests have been hijacked by criminals inciting riots; looting and burning local businesses and causing harm to innocent bystanders and law enforcement.

During a press conference held at the historic New Hanover County Court House on Tuesday June 2nd, County Commission Chairperson Julia Boseman announced the County had enacted a curfew from 9pm to 5am daily until further notice in an effort to curtail criminal activity that has occurred in recent days after sunset. During the day protests are peaceful, but after the sun sets, some individuals have sought to incite riots in the dark of night.

During Tuesday's press conference Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo explained, "Our country has perceived many tragic events and the heart wrenching death of George Floyd is a national tragedy that we all as one people must live through and must live through and learn from. We must mourn for Mr. Floyd. We must do what is right under the rule of law to hold accountable those who are responsible for his death. We must heal and the peaceful protests that have been held are part of that healing process."

He explained, "The City of Wilmington and the Wilmington Police Department hold the utmost respect for peaceful protest and demonstrations. They are part of who we are and how our democracy works. We uphold the first amendment and hold it dear to our hearts. It is one of the many things that makes America the envy of the world."

He explained, "Sadly, there are those that are trying to hijack our rights. People that seem to be moving from place to place, inciting assaults, and picking up rocks and bottles and throwing fireworks at police basically violating the law. Other North Carolina Towns have seen gun fire and buildings set on fire. That is not protesting. That is not healing. That is violence and breaking the law. Violence that is not authorized by the first amendment or any amendment. The City of Wilmington will not tolerate violence and if you choose violence we will shut you down. The State of Emergency I have issued includes a 9pm to 5am curfew  against being a foot in public places. It is one tool in our tool box to keep our people safe and shutdown those who would harm us all."

Saffo said he looks forward to lifting that order as soon as possible, but it will remain in place until further notice.

He explained, "Wilmington has seen it's share of protests. Most have been peaceful  and some not. We have seen Black Lives Matter, the Tea Party Movement of 2010, Occupy Wilmington, protests against Chemours and the polluting of the Cape Fear River by GenX. We've also seen the in 1765 the Stamp Act and the beginnings of the Declaration of Independence that kind of started right here in this community. We've also seen the 1898 race riots that cost people's riots. We've also seen the 1971 Wilmington 10 riots that also took people's lives."

He explained, "I have an invitation and a warning. To peaceful protestors, I say welcome. Our police are here to protect you. Let's come together and bring healing to our community and talk about the issues. To those that are bent on violence and inciting riots and destroying property, I say this is not your place. Wilmington will not stand for such destruction. Please find it in your heart to change your ways and heal with us."

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