Local Order Implements Curfew and Other Restrictions in Designated Areas
DENTON, TX, May 31, 2020 – Mayor Chris Watts issued a local order, effective as of 5 p.m. today, to encourage peaceful demonstrations and protests within the City. Since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrations for justice and change have taken place in many urban areas across the nation. While most have been conducted peacefully, some cities experienced violence that resulted in injuries and significant property damage.
Out of an abundance of caution, with several events planned within Denton, and with some threatening to engage in possible violence, the order is a step to ensure that, in the event a demonstration experiences destructive elements, any chance of injury to those present or damage to surrounding property is reduced. The order mandates that:
A curfew is established for the Designated Downtown Area, the Denton County Courthouse, Jail Facility, and any other areas of the Denton County building complex (see Exhibit 1) from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. from Sunday, May 31, 2020 through Sunday, June 7, 2020;
Public safety personnel, credentialed members of the news media, individuals traveling to and from work, or individuals seeking medical attention, among other designated persons or activities are exempted from this curfew;
Within the designated areas (Exhibit 1), the following items will be prohibited from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m.: – Weapons, including knives, pepper spray, and clubs; – All purses, bags, and containers larger than a small clutch bag, backpacks and other similar bags and containers as listed in the order; and – Projectiles and signs with rigid components that could be used as a weapon.
“Like many of you, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless killing of George Floyd,” said Mayor Watts. “ I support the right of every citizen to peacefully protest to express their anger, sadness and call for reform; however, at this time we must do all we can to protect those in attendance, other bystanders, and the surrounding area from any potential harm. This order will help ensure our residents will make it home safely and protect private property from damage.”
Denton Police Department will conduct its normal patrol activities in the designated areas, adjusting the number of officers on hand based on expected crowds.
“The Denton Police Department understands the need for change and embraces the coming together with our community to identify and address the areas where we can implement change,” Chief of Police Frank Dixon said. “The Denton Police Department will continue working with the community to keep everyone safe so residents can exercise their constitutionally protected rights.”
The order expires after seven (7) days, unless extended by a vote of the full Denton City Council.
Contact: Ryan Adams, (940) 349-8565, Ryan.Adams@cityofdenton.com