Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a citywide two-day curfew for the District starting Monday evening at 7 p.m., following days of protests that have resulted in fires, destruction of buildings and dozens of arrests.
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“I have spent this morning walking around the city to assess damage, and there is significant damage in the downtown areas,” Bowser said at a news conference Monday.
Bowser said as the nation’s capital, Washington is a “frequent host to First Amendment demonstrations, and we applaud the American spirit of protest.”
But she said she “will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown by people who are coming here to protest.”
The mayor said the curfew will start at 7pm and last until the morning hours and will start again on Tuesday at 7pm.
Washington, D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said the decision was not one that city leaders made lightly.
“This will disrupt your lives. This is a decision that was forced upon us by the behavior of the people who are intent on coming to our city and destroying property and hurting people,” he said.
Newsham said the police department has arrested 88 people since the protests began. Half of those were were charged with felony rioting and a number were also charged with burglary.
He warned protesters that the department is “not done making arrests,” and pointed to the city’s expansive CCTV system as a way of identifying additional perpetrators.
“We are urging our business owners that if they do have images of people either destroying property or hurting somebody, that they share those images with us. And I can assure you we will follow up,” he said.