Downtown News

Dallas enacts curfew in response to escalating violence at protests

Dallas enacts curfew in response to escalating violence at protests

George Floyd protest
Protestors stopped traffic on Dallas freeways. Photo courtesy of WFAA/YouTube

UPDATE 6-6-2020: The curfew has been lifted. A release says that, after consultation with the Dallas Police Chief and City Council, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax signed an order lifting the curfew in central Dallas effective Saturday, June 6.

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After two nights of protests in downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum, the city of Dallas has enacted an overnight curfew in the central Dallas area which goes into effect May 31 at 7 pm and extends overnight until June 1 at 6 am.

The curfew order follows 48 hours of unrest, with rallies spurred by the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis following an encounter with police officers. Officer Derek Chauvin was videotaped pressing his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while onlookers begged the officer to ease off.

The protests in Dallas began on May 29 when hundreds gathered outside Dallas Police Headquarters for a solidarity rally and march.

But the rally escalated into violence with marchers blocking the streets, vandalism against businesses, and police deploying tear gas. On May 30, another round of protests that began peacefully in the afternoon escalated again into more violence, with protestors shutting down traffic on I-35, 75, and I-45.

According to a release from the Dallas Police Department, the curfew will extend for several days with the following boundaries:

  • Oak Lawn to the north
  • Riverfront to the west
  • Corinth to the south
  • Peak Street to the east including downtown, Deep Ellum, the Farmers Market, Cedars, Uptown, and Victory Park

Residents or employees who live or work in the curfew area should be prepared to show proof of residency or work credentials if they need to travel in or out of the area while curfew is in effect.

In addition, Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Texas, activating the National Guard. Between 120 and 150 National Guard officers in Grand Prairie are available if needed.

The release says that the city of Dallas and DPD continue to respect and protect the rights of peaceful protestors. "We are aware of peaceful protests and vigils scheduled to begin prior to the curfew including those at the Omni and Freedman’s Cemetery at 3 pm; Jack Evans Police HQ at 5 pm and 6:30 pm; and Klyde Warren Park at 5:30 pm," it says. "DPD will have a presence protecting peaceful protestors, residents, and business’ owners, patrons, and employees; managing traffic; and vigilantly looking to remove or control bricks or anything else which may be used to harm people, vandalize or destroy property, or aid in other criminal mischief."

Similar protests have occurred across the country and curfews have been enacted in more than 40 cities including San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Nashville. Major highways across Minnesota are also closed.

On June 1, Dallas County will close several of its buildings and offices in downtown Dallas including:

  • County Administration Building, 411 Elm St.
  • George Allen Courts Building, 600 Commerce St.
  • Founders Square (county offices), 900 Jackson St.
  • Renaissance Tower (county offices), 1201 Elm St.