Overnight Curfew Extended City Wide As Groups Gather, Arrests Made Saturday Night

May 31, 2020

Credit KLCC

Several people were arrested Saturday night after an initial 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the downtown Eugene area was extended city wide and a local emergency declaration was invoked.

The Eugene Police Department says the curfew was extended just before midnight as mobs of people gathered in the downtown area and across the Willamette River.

EPD says groups of people were intercepted as they began to engage in criminal behavior. EPD reports that at 13th and Olive Fire Station 1, a group of about 20 gathered and one person lit a torch, possibly catching the station’s flag on fire.  The group moved around and grew to about 35 at Lawrence/7th Aly just before midnight. The group was warned to disperse but continued to go southbound on 7th and Washington. Pepperballs were deployed at 12:08 a.m. The first person was taken into custody at 11th Aly at 12:12 a.m. There were subsequently multiple arrests

The Valley River Center area also saw groups of people congregating and blocking traffic.

This, after what started Friday night as a solemn march honoring George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis,  turned into a destructive scene. There were acts of vandalism in the downtown area, including broken windows, looting, and dumpster fires. EPD deployed tear gas twice on Friday night in efforts to move the crowds from the areas.

During the hours of the curfew, people are not allowed to travel on any public street or in any public place in that area. Prohibited travel includes automobile, bicycle, foot, public transit and any other mode of personal transportation. The curfew does not apply to people seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, sheltering in place, traveling to and from employment or making commercial deliveries.

In a statement accompanying the curfew order on Saturday, Eugene City Manager Pro Tem Sarah Medary said "the City fully supports the rights of the protesters and free speech, we do not support illegal behavior that puts our local businesses and community members in harm’s way."

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