In an emergency City Council meeting Sunday afternoon, Mayor Mitch Colvin called for a citywide curfew effective today at 8 p.m., as a response to the looting and vandalism that spread Saturday night.
The curfew will be in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. Originally the curfew was to be set for 7 p.m., but a procedural decision was made to adjust to 8 p.m.
“This will give our law enforcement officers the opportunity to see who it is who has bad intentions, to run the street, to destroy property, and to cause harm and havoc in our community, which will not be tolerated,” Colvin said. “Those who are from outside who choose to come in to cause havoc, you will be held accountable.”
Fayetteville Chief of Police Gina Hawkins said that the city received information Friday evening about a “pop-up protest” that the police department began preparing for early Saturday morning. The department did ask organizers to move the protests to Monday to help the police better prepare.
“As we moved and made sure what was being said … we continued to monitor as they moved, fire had to be protected to get service on any fires at whatever location (the protesters) decided to go to,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said the police department is preparing for a repeat, but that they don’t necessarily think it will happen.
“What’s going to help us out is the curfew,” Hawkins said. “That will allow us to have zero tolerance. If people are on the streets, we will have zero tolerance.”
Hawkins said additional resources have been made available from neighboring law-enforcement agencies, and were deployed some Saturday night.
“It’s ok to protest, but it’s not ok for these to turn violent,” City Councilman Larry Wright said. “I want to commend our police force for how they handled this situation.”