SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Springfield officials have declared a curfew that will go into effect 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Due to this curfew the vigil for George Floyd planned for 7 p.m. had to be canceled. Authorities say that anyone who breaks curfew and refuses to leave the area will be arrested.
The boundaries of the curfew downtown are:
- Northern boundary is East North Street
- Western boundary is Center Street
- Southern boundary is West Jefferson and Monroe
- Eastern boundary is Spring Street
Mayor Warren Copeland started the briefing saying that he had thought Springfield avoided the violent protests seen in other communities. A peace demonstration started in the afternoon Sunday, but eventually the tone shifted and police attempted to disperse the crowd.
Copeland said that officers in Springfield are not trained to react the way the Minneapolis police officers responsible for George Floyd’s death were. Adding that he wants to continue working with African American members of the community for the betterment of all.
Officials asked residents to keep in mind that Springfield is above violence. Several condemned the actions of the protesters from last night, urging people to use their voices before breaking the law by destroying and vandalizing property.
Police Chief Lee Graf said that crowds were peaceful until the initial protest dispersed and another crowd gathered with members that had baseball bats and rocks.
People started driving recklessly near the crowd around 11 p.m., Graf said that police moved to disperse them after seeing how close they were to hitting protesters. When rocks were thrown at officers, police responded by using tear gas.
Police and residents started to assess the damages once protesters left the scene around 2 a.m. Estimates on damages have not been made yet but both city property and small businesses were targeted.
Graf said that the majority of those committing acts of vandalism and property damage were white men. Adding that charges will follow if he can put names to faces through video evidence.
2 NEWS will update the story with new information once it is available.