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Ralston, Council Bluffs, Lincoln to implement 8 p.m. curfew

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Posted at 3:25 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 19:20:45-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — The City of Council Bluffs, the City of Ralston and the City of Lincoln all announced an 8 p.m. curfew on Sunday in response to growing criminal activity associated with protests.

The City of Ralston released the following statement:

To reduce the vulnerability of people and our community to damage, injury and loss of life and property resulting from civil disturbances, I hereby initiate the Local Emergency Operations Plan for Ralston and declare a state of emergency for the City of Ralston.

A curfew shall take effect at 8 PM May 31st, 2020 and end at 6 AM June 1st, 2020. Only people who must travel for work, medical emergencies, or to support law enforcement with permission of the Police Chief or Fire Chief may occupy public spaces or private outdoor spaces accessible to the public.

The City of Lincoln released the following statement:

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced that, in the interest of public safety, she has issued an Emergency Declaration that will implement a curfew for all Lincoln residents from 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Monday, June 1. During these hours, the only people permitted to be out of their homes are those who are going to work, seeking medical attention or seeking the assistance of law enforcement.

The curfew is in response to the violence that erupted Saturday night after an initially peaceful assembly to protest the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The riot resulted in injuries and property damage estimated in the tens of millions of dollars along Lincoln Mall between the State Capitol and the City-County government offices on 10th Street. It was the second night of violent protest in Lincoln.

“The protesters in Lincoln over the past few days have largely been peaceful and respectful. I fully support their calls for justice,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “Last night, however, a smaller handful of people who apparently have other agendas committed terrible acts of destruction. The perpetrators of this violence were not limited to a single race or ethnicity; many were white. I cannot and will not condone those physical acts of destruction. No one should. That honors no one.”

The Mayor issued the Emergency Declaration at a news conference Sunday afternoon attended by Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister; Kameron Neeman, the organizer of the Black Lives Matter rally from 4 to 5:30 p.m. this evening at the State Capitol; and City Council members James Michael Bowers, Roy Christensen, Bennie Shobe, Tammy Ward, and Sändra Washington.

Under the Emergency Declaration, the Mayor has also requested support from the National Guard to help protect City infrastructure and businesses.

Mayor Gaylor Baird viewed the damage along Lincoln Mall today and thanked those who were helping to clean up. “I saw dozens of people pitching in to help clean up the damage from the night before – volunteers scrubbing graffiti and picking up shattered glass,” she said. “To all the people whose businesses and buildings were damaged as a result of last night’s events, know that we are dedicated to doing everything we can to prevent further needless destruction.”

The City of Council Bluffs released the following statement:

The Council Bluffs Police Department has received information from concerned citizens about planned protests/ riots happening tonight in Council Bluffs. The information is being taken seriously. There are no active permits in place in for lawful protests scheduled for today in Council Bluffs. In response, the City of Council Bluffs has implemented a curfew of 8 p.m. tonight, May 31. The CBPD has additional staff available to address issues as they arise. Residents wishing to report additional concerns should call 911 or (712)328-5737 for non-emergency matters.