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Cleveland enacts Proclamation of Civil Emergency, sets curfew for downtown amid destruction

Gov. Mike DeWine activates National Guard in Cleveland
Two police cars set on fire in downtown Cleveland during protests.
Posted at 8:03 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 12:23:28-04

CLEVELAND — Due to protests turning violent and destructive, a Proclamation of Civil Emergency has been enacted in the city of Cleveland due to civil unrest, with a curfew set in the Downtown and central business area, according to Cleveland police. Gov. Mike DeWine has also activated the Ohio National Guard to assist in responding to the incidents of violence.

The curfew begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and continues until 8 a.m. Sunday morning, police said.

Anyone in the downtown area is ordered to leave immediately. Those who do not and are found violating the curfew are subject to arrest, according to police.

DeWine announced he had activated the National Guard after receiving a call from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

"At approximately 6:00 p.m., I received a call from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson expressing serious concerns about the safety of Cleveland residents and peace officers following violent demonstrations there this afternoon. As is the case in Columbus, it is believed to be a relatively small group of violent individuals who are drowning out the voices of the many citizens who are peacefully expressing their desire for justice and change," DeWine said. "In this time of deep anger, sadness, and frustration, we stand with those who are expressing their First Amendment rights, but we will not stand for those who wish to inflict pain and cause destruction."

Downtown Cleveland storefronts were vandalized Saturday evening after what started off as a peaceful protest for George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, turned destructive as some individuals smashed windows.

Late Saturday night, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Division of Police released the following statement:

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City of Cleveland and Cleveland police release a statement following protests turned violent.

RELATED: Vandals damage downtown businesses after protests in Cleveland