SALT LAKE CITY — In response to protests about the killing of George Floyd, Salt Lake City issued a new weeklong nighttime curfew and Utah's governor enacted a state of emergency due to the civil unrest on Monday.
Starting Monday and going through June 8, the city's new curfew will go into effect every night at 8 p.m. and will end the next morning at 6 a.m.
Gov. Gary Herbert’s order goes into effect immediately and the State Capitol Complex will temporarily close to the public through Saturday.
State business will continue at the State Capitol throughout the closure — the capitol has been closed to the public since March in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The announcements came not long before another protest was scheduled to start on State Street in Salt Lake City.
The extension of the curfew was ordered after Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall consulted with Herbert and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, officials said.
“The decision to continue a curfew here in Salt Lake City was not made lightly. But as we’ve seen throughout the country, the valid frustration many people feel continues to exhibit itself beyond the bounds of peaceful discourse,” Mendenhall said in a statement. “While Salt Lake City respects and understands the anger people legitimately feel, and welcomes the presence of peaceful protests, the safety of our city, our public safety officers, and our residents must come first.”
During curfew hours, individuals are not allowed to be on a public street or in any public place with some exceptions.
Any emergency personnel authorized by the city — such as law enforcement, fire and medical personnel, and credentialed media — are allowed to remain on city streets during curfew hours.
The curfew also doesn’t apply to anyone traveling directly to and from work, attending religious services, obtaining food, caring for someone, or traveling to and from the Salt Lake City International Airport, those seeking medical care, business owners, or those experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, anyone authorized by Salt Lake City officials can break the curfew.
“It is with a heavy heart that we enact another curfew,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown in a statement. “I hope and pray it is the last, and that we can do the hard work of building a better city together.”
The new curfew comes after a weekend of protests in Salt Lake City and across the nation in response to the death of a black man, George Floyd, in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer who has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Protests in Salt Lake City began peacefully on Saturday but things later took a turn as multiple cars were lit on fire and many downtown buildings and the state Capitol were vandalized.
In response, National Guardsmen were activated by Herbert to ensure “the safety of citizens and prevent further violence and property damage,” the state of emergency order states.
To disperse crowds and prevent further damage, a curfew was enacted from Saturday night to Monday morning.
This is developing news. We’re working on gathering more information and will be updating this story shortly.