After two nights of violence in downtown Greensboro, Mayor Nancy Vaughan announced via Facebook and Twitter shortly before noon, Monday, June 1, that she was imposing a citywide curfew.
The notice on Twitter states, “I am issuing a citywide CURFEW effective immediately from 8:00pm – 6:00am, to be in effect until modified or rescinded. Please Plan accordingly. It will restrict travel within the city limits.
“Declaration to follow @greensborocity
“#StayAtHome especially after 8:00”
In a news release from the City of Greensboro Vaughan said, “As a result of the escalating violence that has come to Greensboro over the weekend, I have declared a curfew for the city beginning tonight at 8 pm. I am concerned more about the possible loss of life and injuries for our residents. The curfew is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our community.”
According to the press release, the exemptions for the curfew include law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public safety employees; doctors nurses, employees of hospitals or other medical facilities; public utilities, public transportation companies; on-duty military personnel; news media, journalists, individuals traveling between work and their residence; and individuals seeking medical care.
Both Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis started as peaceful protests, remained peaceful for hours but, according to reports, after many of the protestors had left, on both nights the protests became violent with numerous storefronts and windows smashed downtown and there was also some looting reported.
According to police reports, Saturday, May 30, Gary Daniel Purgason was charged with “inciting to riot” and Sunday, May 31, Gabriel Alexander Martin was arrested for “vandalism to real property willful and wanton.” Those are the only two arrests related to the downtown vandalism and looting listed in the Greensboro Police Department reports for the downtown area over the weekend.
The reports do list 14 incidents of vandalism, five of “burglary-forcible entry” and one incident of arson.
Monday morning downtown people were sweeping up glass in front of their businesses and boarding up windows. Many windows were being boarded up where the glass had been smashed and in other cases it was preventative, with boards being fitted over windows to prevent damage. All down South Elm Street instead of the usual business activity the majority of people were either taking photos of the damage or working to repair the damage and prevent future damage.