Raleigh’s last three nights of protests have stayed peaceful, but Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin still ordered residents to stay off the streets for another night by imposing a 10 p.m. curfew.

Hundreds of protesters calling for justice on behalf of George Floyd, a black man killed after being pinned on the ground by a Minneapolis cop, have demonstrated in mass downtown for five days straight. Although protests began peacefully on Saturday and Sunday, things descended into chaos after police unleashed tear gas and rubber bullets on the protesters. Late into the night, after most had dispersed, a smaller group of rioters vandalized and looted businesses downtown, setting fires and smashing windows.  At the request of local law enforcement Governor Roy Cooper sent in the National Guard Sunday.

Wednesday night saw no violence and city officials reported no arrests, injuries or damage to property. 

“I am grateful to all our residents and business owners for their cooperation over the last three nights,” Baldwin said in a statement Thursday. “Once again, we had peaceful protests in our city —composed of people from all walks of life—demanding changes that I think we can all agree are long overdue.”

Still, Baldwin issued another curfew starting at 10 p.m., two hours later than the previous nights to give local businesses more flexibility. 

“With this change, we hope to allow restaurants and other small businesses throughout the city more time to serve their customers while providing our community more time to engage in a peaceful way,” Baldwin said. “And speaking of our restaurants and small businesses, we feel your pain. We will continue to work with our business alliances to proactively address issues and find ways to support your continued success.”

Baldwin acknowledged curfew, “is not the long term solution,” but maintained its necessary to allow the community to “pause” and “focus on hearing people’s legitimate concerns

The City Council has planned a virtual listening session for tonight at  7 p.m.. To call in or participate, click here. 

Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at ltauss@indyweek.com. 

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