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The original item was published from 6/3/2020 4:22:18 PM to 7/1/2020 12:00:08 AM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: June 3, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City leaders condemn Floyd death, ask governor for curfew in wake of violence

Booker T Washington Bridge into downtown

June 3, 2020 - City of Hampton’s elected and appointed leaders would like to reiterate their condemnation of the Minneapolis police officers responsible for the murder of George Floyd. The actions and inactions of the officers involved are inexcusable, and we understand the rage most people feel in the wake of that — on top of other equally intolerable acts by police in other parts of the country.

Our city supports free speech and peaceful protests. Until last night, our protests have been peaceful. Tuesday night, what began as a peaceful protest ended in rioting, looting and violence. That cannot be tolerated, and we do not want to risk it happening again.

Last night and into the early hours of this morning, several businesses sustained property damage, a demonstrator set off a homemade explosive device, shots were fired near officers, and glass bottles filled with feces and urine and other items were thrown at officers. Although only one minor injury was sustained, the potential for more serious personal injury was and remains present.

Therefore, we asked the Governor to extend the Executive Order enacting temporary curfews in Richmond and Virginia Beach to Hampton so that we can protect public health and safety. We have been informed our request was granted and that the curfew will begin this evening. The curfew will be in force from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each of the next three nights. It will be enforced.

While the curfew is in place, no one shall be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park, or other public place in the City of Hampton with the following exceptions:

  • Persons traveling to and from home, work, or places of worship;
  • Hospital personnel;
  • Members of the press;
  • State and City of Hampton  employees and volunteers;
  • Military personnel including but not limited to national guard troops;
  • Private emergency medical transport workers;
  • Persons seeking emergency services; and
  • Other emergency workers

This curfew is not meant to curtail legitimate peaceful protest, although it will have the effect of putting limits on the times those can occur. Unfortunately, there are people who have co-opted protests for the purpose of damaging property and inciting violence, which then escalates and threatens the safety of everyone, even those gathered peacefully or who are just nearby. That damage is easier to do under the cover of darkness, which is why we are instituting the curfew.

"People of ill will should not be allowed to taint, through their illegal actions, the positive intent of the overwhelming majority of people of good will who only wish to share their frustration and desire for positive change,” said Mayor Donnie Tuck.

We want people to have multiple chances to express themselves and to connect with city leadership and police officers. We cannot heal as a city or nation unless we listen and understand. However, we also must ensure the safety of everyone, including the peaceful protesters. That is why we must institute and enforce this curfew.

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