Bemidji Enacting Nighttime Curfew in Light of George Floyd Protests
The City of Bemidji has announced that a nighttime curfew will be in place for Bemidji this weekend.
Citing an abundance of caution, Mayor Rita Albrecht has signed a declaration which will enact a curfew for the City of Bemidji. The curfew will begin at 8:00 PM on Saturday, May 30th through 6:00 AM Sunday, May 31, and again at 8:00 PM Sunday, May 31st through 6:00 AM Monday, June 1st. During the nighttime curfew, no travel is allowed on any public street, sidewalk, path, or any public place.
“We will have and will continue to support the peaceful protest of our community. I ask for the community’s cooperation and support in following the curfew,” said Mayor Albrecht. “Plan to stay safely at home tonight with your families and loved ones.”
The curfew is consistent with actions being taken across Minnesota. Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin stated, “We thank the peaceful demonstrators who gathered to remember George Floyd. This curfew is being implemented for the safety of all members of our community. Our number one priority is protecting and serving our residents and locally owned small businesses. We thank the Bemidji community for their support in following this direction of the Mayor.”
All law enforcement, fire and medical personnel, as well as other personnel authorized by the City of Bemidji, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol, or Minnesota National Guard, are exempt from the curfew. Individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing dangerous circumstances are also exempt.
Demonstrations and riots have sprung up across the country this week to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during his arrest. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. In Bemidji on Saturday, hundreds of people gathered downtown in protest, marching from the Paul and Babe statues to the Law Enforcement Center and back.