Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley today announced that the city's curfew would start at 8 p.m. tonight, earlier than the 9 p.m. citywide curfew last night and the city's initial 10 p.m. curfew initiated Saturday in a downtown, Over-the-Rhine and the West End.
The curfews have come after days of protests in Cincinnati and many other cities decrying the death of George Floyd, an unarmed man killed by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin May 25. Chauvin, who held his knee against Floyd's neck for nine minutes until he died, has been fired and arrested for third-degree murder in connection with Floyd's death.
The protests have been peaceful, though scattered incidents of vandalism have broken out in the later hours following rallies over the past few days. Cranley also noted that one Cincinnati Police officer was shot in the helmet Saturday.
Cranley said while he believed anger of Floyd's death is justified and protest is appropriate, the curfew was intended to head off violence in the nighttime hours.
"It gives our officers the time to give warnings while it is still daylight," he said today of the earlier curfew. "It seemed appropriate to give our officers another hour to prepare as they continue to enforce the curfew."
Police Chief Eliot Isaac said today that crowds exceeded 2,000 people last night.
Following the 9 p.m. curfew last night, 307 were arrested. Of the arrestees, 168 were white and 99 were black.
Cranley acknowledged that roughly 100 protesters arrested yesterday for violating curfew were held outdoors in a courtyard at the Hamilton County Justice Center. He said he is asking Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil to make more deputies available for processing and more space available in the jail for those arrested on curfew violations.
Some of the people arrested last night said via social media posts that they went many hours without food, water or restroom facilities. Cranley challenged that assertion.
"It is the case that people had access to food and water and facilities" Cranley said. "But there were a lot of people and limited supplies. We're not suggesting it was a pleasant experience. It was not."
It is unclear how long the 8 p.m. curfew will extend, Cranley said.
"Right now, it ends tomorrow, but depending on what happens tonight and what is planned for tomorrow, we may extend it," he said today.