Lincoln Mayor declares State of Emergency and curfew Sunday night - Monday morning

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 1:18 PM CDT
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After two nights where peaceful protests turned to violent riots, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird declared a State of Emergency.

The Mayor issued a curfew beginning 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.

Only people who must leave to go to work, seek medical attention or law enforcement are allowed on public streets.

Lincoln has also requested the assistance of the National Guard to bolster protection of infrastructure.

“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.”

Saturday night, Lincoln Police had cruisers in position to block traffic to protect the protesters who were walking in the middle of the street. Some cruisers were surrounded and vandalized. Eventually the march made it’s way to the Hall of Justice, and 30 minutes later the protest turned violent. A variety of items were hurled at officers.

LPD asked protesters to disperse but some did not listen. Police made a couple arrests at 1 a.m. At 2 a.m. windows began to be broken near Lincoln Mall and small fires started.

Officers worked to get to those buildings, and to get fire resources to those buildings. At 3 a.m. a structure fire began at the 600 block of South 12th Street, causing an incredible amount of damage. The situation calmed at around 4 a.m.

One LPD officer was injured due to the riots. A citizen was injured, a stabbing, and multiple assaults occurred in the crowd.

LPD believes that the current amount of damage ranges in the tens of millions of dollars. Tens of thousands of dollars in damage was caused to the Hall of Justice. Five arrests were made for failure to disperse and obstructing a government operation.

“That’s not indicative of Lincoln," said LPD Police Chief, Jeffrey Bliemeister. "When I walked down Lincoln Mall last night and in the early morning hours, I saw calamity and chaos. Today, similar to the mayor’s experience, I walked down there and saw optimism and hope. And it is my hope that today and going forward, that this violence will not be apart of the valid voice of those, and us, outraged by the murder of Mr. Floyd."

A Black Lives Matter Protest is planned for Sunday at 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The organizer of the protest has worked with LPD in order to ensure the protest remains peaceful. Organizers request that individuals wear masks and wrap around the Capitol to properly social distance.

LIVE: Lincoln's response to protests and riots

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird will update the community on the City’s response to Saturday's protests and riots.

Posted by 1011 News on Sunday, May 31, 2020