Lincoln Mayor talks about 9PM curfew and protests
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced Monday that, in the interest of public safety, she has issued an Emergency Declaration that will implement a curfew for all Lincoln residents from 9 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
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 this weekend after peaceful assemblies to protest the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota were disrupted by a small group of individuals, resulting in injuries, destruction of property, and arrests.
The mayor discussed this weekend’s protests and the curfew at a news conference on Monday.
The mayor considered the Sunday's curfew a success because more people went home sooner in the night. There was less violence and vandalism than seen in Lincoln overnight Friday and Saturday.
Gaylor Baird said, “The peaceful protests are making important calls for social justice, for the safety of all Americans, and for a recognition by all that black lives matter.” She said that these are important messages for everyone to hear and to catalyze each of us to make a difference in achieving a more just and peaceful world.
The Mayor said peaceful protests have been hijacked by bad actors and agitators. "We saw continued engagement with law enforcement officers, but less property damage and crowds dispersed by 12:30 a.m."
LPD Chief Jeff Bliemeister said 53 people were detained on Sunday night and 39 have since been released. Those cited will be brought to the city’s attorney’s office for review. A Lincoln Journal Star reporter was temporarily detained, though released after his credentials were identified.
According to the mayor, DHMs now allow for bars to be open as of June 1. However, those bars would still be affected by the curfew. The Mayor did apologize to the bar owners of Lincoln who would be affected by the curfew.
“There can be no comparison made between the grief of our community over the senseless death of countless people of color and the economic impacts that are felt by those whose livelihoods have suffered, first by the pandemic and now by the destruction and vandalism. But we are nonetheless, committed to doing everything we can to minimize suffering, including economic suffering.”
The Mayor discussed her hopes to increase conversations with the community. She said there are current plans to make the Citizen Police Advisory Board more accessible. Currently, it is required to place these complaints in person at the Mayor’s office, however officials are working to expand the language so that online filing of complaints can be made.
If people have complaints about law enforcement's actions in Lincoln, they can be filed in person at the Mayor's office, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.