City Of Dallas Expands Area Under Curfew; Protesters Downtown Start To Disperse Ahead Of Deadline
Tuesday afternoon, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson expanded the area of the city that will be under curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The curfew includes downtown, the Farmers Markets and the neighborhoods of Deep Ellum, Cedars, Uptown, Victory Park, Trinity Groves and the West Village.
Businesses were asked to close by 5 p.m. Residents or employees who live or work in the curfew area must show proof of residency or work credentials if they need to travel in or out of the area while the curfew is in effect.
All of Fort Worth will also be under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Dallas County has its own curfew in place that differs from city’s.
Judge Clay Jenkins has ordered an 8:30 p.m. curfew for all county properties beginning Tuesday night. He said demonstrators may use the Frank Crowley Courthouse as a site for protests until the curfew goes into effect.
Protesters demonstrated in downtown Dallas for several hours Monday, but began to clear out ahead of the curfew.
The Dallas Morning News reports that around 6 p.m. a cell phone alert warning of the curfew could be heard across the crowd gathered downtown. Demonstrators began to leave, with organizers telling them, “We’ll need you tomorrow,” according to the Morning News.
Protesters in downtown Fort Worth also began to mostly disperse ahead of the city's 8 p.m. curfew
The march through downtown Fort Worth has ended. But some demonstrators remain on the courthouse steps and they don’t seem to want to leave. A young man just told everyone to get home safe and that the protest would resume tomorrow. Curfew is at 8 PM. #WFAA pic.twitter.com/3ja8x0gwTA— Teresa Woodard (@twoodard8) June 3, 2020
Dallas Police Chief Defends Department's Actions At Monday Protest
Protests continued last night across North Texas for a fourth day, with one in Dallas resulting in police firing smoke bombs at a crowd on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Many people were detained and shuttled off the bridge in vehicles.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall on Tuesday morning told reporters that marching onto the bridge is against the law.
“I stood before you and made myself extremely clear that we will arrest anyone who breaks the law. And although peaceful, the protesters broke the law,” she said.
Hall said that people were not listening to warnings that if they got on the bridge, they would be arrested.
She said in conversations between police and protesters in advance, protesters said they would go in one direction as they marched, but then they walked in the opposite direction, breaking the agreement.
Organizers of Monday night's Dallas protest said they’ll protest every day until policing is better in all of North Texas.
Gov. Abbott Visits North Texas
Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott was in Dallas Tuesday afternoon, talking with the mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas about the state's response to the protests.
Abbott said he will not be asking for the U.S. military's help following protests happening in cities across Texas.
Monday President Trump threatened to deploy troops to states that don't take "necessary" actions to end violent protests.
Abbott said 1,000 state police officers and hundreds of Texas National Guard members have already been deployed to North Texas.
"Our immediate task at hand is to ensure that we restore calm in our communities, but restoring calm in our communities does not end our task." he said. "Our work will not end until justice, fairness and equality become a reality in every part of our great state."
Abbott has described the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer as a horrific act of police brutality, something that should be prevented in Texas.
The governor was asked several times about specific policies he would support to counteract police brutality, but didn’t give any details.
“I think it’s important that we have the opportunity to be able to have dialogue with all legislators and round out the completeness of all these issues,” he said. “We need to have the complete dialogue of everybody in the House and Senate.”
Abbott said the rioting and vandalism seen at protests is overshadowing Floyd’s death.
He also reported the federal government has not asked Texas to send its National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. Several states are sending National Guard troops to the nation’s capitol at President Trump’s request.
George Floyd March In Houston
The family of George Floyd joined a crowd city officials estimated at 60,000 demonstrators to rally and march Tuesday in Houston to protest Floyd’s death.
Protesters marched from a downtown Houston park to City Hall where, at a rally that lasted a little over an hour, various local and congressional officials, activists and members of Floyd’s family spoke.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told the crowd that the rally and march were about “lifting up the family of George Floyd.”
“Today we want to love on them. We want them to know that George did not die in vain,” he said.
A public viewing for Floyd is scheduled for Monday. It will be followed by a funeral on Tuesday.
KERA's Bret Jaspers, Gabrielle Jones, Elizabeth Myong and Bill Zeeble, The Texas Newsroom and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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