COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers signed an emergency proclamation Wednesday establishing a citywide curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night from Wednesday, June 3, through Monday morning, June 8.
Suthers explained that the curfew was put in place in response to escalating violence between the police and protestors who are demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died on May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis.
People leaving or going to work after 10 p.m. will not violate the order. Likewise, anyone in need of emergency medical care will be exempt. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, members of the news media, and people traveling at the Colorado Springs Airport are also exempt.
At a news conference announcing the curfew, Suthers complimented the protesters saying that the vast majority have been "very peaceful."
"They have been cooperative with police trying to get them through intersections and things like that," Suthers said.
However, there have been clashes between some protesters and the police each evening leading to injuries and property damage.
"Rocks, bricks, bottles, and firecrackers were thrown at the police officers not only endangering them but also members of the crowd," he said.
The windows to the community room of the Police Operations Center and windows at the El Paso County Court House have been broken and Suthers said the city has removed graffiti from 75 locations.
"We are not doing this to discourage protests or anything like that. We are doing it just to deal with a particular situation that appears to be happening each evening at 10," said Suthers.
Reaction to the news of the curfew was mixed among the protesters gathering at City Hall Wednesday.
"We are grown adults, as long as we are out here being peaceful there is no reason," said Mariya Archuletta.
Felton Crawley was not bothered by the curfew. He wants public attention drawn to systemic racism.
"Systemic racism is a problem for everyone," Crawley said. "The curfew really is a symptom. If we have a curfew, fine. But the issue is systemic racism, to include here in Colorado Springs, and thus we need to address it."
Colorado Springs police officers will enforce the curfew. Crowds of protesters will be asked to disburse at 10 p.m. each night. Violators can be ticketed. If convicted, penalties for violating curfew include a fine of up to $2,500, a jail sentence of 189, or some combination of the two.