New Hanover County Lifts Curfew For Unincorporated Areas

New Hanover County Lifts Curfew For Unincorporated Areas

New Hanover County Lifts Curfew For Unincorporated Areas Featured

By / Local News / Monday, 08 June 2020 17:14

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY -  On June 2nd, 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 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd's death on May 25th 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.

On June 8th, County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman lifted the curfew for the unincorporated areas of the county effective June 8th. The curfew originally prohibited gathering in groups of 10 or more between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in unincorporated areas.

Olson-Boseman explained, "The curfew on gatherings was in place to coordinate with the city and help ensure a safe environment for our community to protest, and - after consulting with the Sheriff - I don’t feel like it is needed any longer in the unincorporated county. I appreciate everyone in our community who has abided by the curfew over the past week, while continuing peaceful and meaningful protests calling for much-needed change."

According to Jessica Loeper with New Hanover County, peaceful protests and demonstrations are supported by the county, and protesters are encouraged to take public health precautions and safety considerations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Olson-Boseman previously explained that in an effort to curtail criminal activity that had occurred in the days after Floyd's death. During the day protests were peaceful, but after the sun set, some individuals sought to incite riots in the dark of night.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo explained on June 2nd, "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."

Shortly after the County and Wilmington adopted curfews, the municipalities of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach consented to and adopted similar curfews.

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