City officials, protesters at odds over Eugene curfews

Cities across the country are implementing curfews in light of the George Floyd protests -- Eugene included.

Posted: Jun 2, 2020 6:57 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Cities across the country are implementing curfews in light of the George Floyd protests -- Eugene included.

Last night, specifically, protesters downtown were asked to go home at 10 p.m. and then again at midnight in a citywide curfew.

“We want to put forth the message of anti-racism. Not destruction, and we feel like if we aren’t doing anything wrong, we should not be stopped,” said protester and Eugene resident Carson.

Carson and other protesters who talked to KEZI 9 News did not want to provide their last names.

According to city officials, Monday's curfew was enacted to protect people and businesses. Although most of the George Floyd protests have been peaceful, the city of Eugene does not want to risk another riot after Friday night.

But some said they still don’t get it.

"They wanted us to go home and for what reason? There was no anger towards buildings. It was peaceful. They wanted us out of the streets, we said okay! We will go to the sidewalks,” said Eugene resident Sean. “We just want you to hear the voices that need to be heard."

Eugene residents were alerted via notifications on their cell phones.

“It’s important for us to be transparent about what’s happening,” said city community relations director Laura Hammond. “Last night we used a different tool: a push notification that will send a notification to cell phones in a given area.”

And that area can extend to the entire city if deemed necessary.

“Implementing the curfew is not something we take lightly,” said Hammond. “The curfew starts with a specific area in the downtown area and will expand to the entire city if it needs to be.”

It’s curfew alerts like these that are keeping people informed and avoiding misdemeanor charges that could lead to an arrest or a $500 fine.

City officials do not have any curfews definitively planned for this week. City manager pro tem Sarah Medary will assess situations that occur individually to help make the decision.

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