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City curfew being used to keep peace, not make arrests

Peaceful protests for third consecutive night
City curfew being used to keep peace, not make arrests
Posted at 4:07 AM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-06 06:09:14-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Friday marked the third day with a curfew in Colorado Springs and the evening saw another night of peaceful protests, even with some people out past 10 p.m.

News5 spoke with the Colorado Springs Police Department about how this curfew is to be enforced, after no arrests were made on either Wednesday or Thursday. CSPD tells News5 their goal with the curfew is to keep the peace, and they do not want to ticket people if they can avoid it.

Friday, June 5, would have been Breonna Taylor's birthday. Protesters outside of City Hall set up a memorial in her honor. One of the people helping light the candles was Tyre Prather, who said he is proud to be a part of the protest and believes history is being made."We're out here actually putting in the work to change the system. It might not happen overnight, it might not happen in a week or a month, but we're out here everyday until something changes... We just got to all be on the same side and figure out a better system, and how to make things work where this will never happen again," said Prather.

One way Prather said those changes can start to be made is by having open dialogue with city leaders. "If we can get an atmosphere and a number of people where we can have some civil discourse, I'm all for it," said Mayor John Suthers, when asked about meeting with protesters.

Mayor Suthers also said he will be deciding whether or not to terminate the curfew on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, those with CSPD said they are thankful they have not had to enforce the curfew, even though some protesters have been out later than 10 p.m. "It's been great to have a message that's not being drowned out by violent acts by a few... But it's not just the curfew, it's the community members who are saying, this is what we want, we don't want chaos, we don't want disorder, we want to build our community up," said Sgt. Jason Newton.

Sgt. Newton also gave News5 an idea of what it's like to put on his uniform during this time of national unrest. "When I put the badge on, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to my family, and when someone tarnishes it, it impacts all of us. And I want to make sure when I come to someone's house, they know that I'm there for them, and to protect them, and I would lay down my life for anyone in this community. And I want people to hear that and know that and that every one of my officers would do the same. And I know we're not perfect, but we're going to try," said Sgt. Newton.

Sgt. Newton explained the reasoning behind why Chief Vince Niski has not come out and marched with the crowds, saying CSPD wants to ensure they are not distracting from the message by doing something like that, which would draw media attention. Sgt. Newton was one of the officers who has gone out to walk and talk with protesters.

CSPD said the consequences for violating the curfew could include a ticket, potential fine, and court date. If someone failed to show up for the court date, then there could be jail time. However, Sgt. Newton said they hope they do not have to go down that path, and want to move forward in a productive manner together with the protesters.