According to reports, the protest in downtown Syracuse regarding George Floyd was peaceful and respectful, at times protesters stood in the pouring rain. Beginning mid-afternoon people began gathering in front of the Justice Center.
This wasn’t just about Minneapolis, this was about the culmination of incidents; Georgia February 23, 2020- Ahmaud Arbery, chased down by two white men and shot while jogging. In Kentucky March 13, 2020- Breonna Taylor was shot after police entered the home, in plain clothes. Believing it was a home invasion her male companion shot at the police; in returning fire Breonna, a healthcare professional was shot and killed. The person the police were looking for was already in custody.
In Minnesota on May 25, George Floyd became the third person this year to die due to police violence which turned the situation volcanic, a catalyst for civil disobedience, his death unleashed a cumulative convulsion from not only the African American community, the entire nation recoiled.
Meanwhile in Syracuse
From mid afternoon into the evening everything was calm but according to some in attendance, another element entered, and things got out of control. Bottles were thrown and the store Street Game was under siege. Syracuse Police along with Onondaga County Sheriffs Department mobilized to control the situation. Around 11 pm Mayor Ben Walsh released a statement on the protests acknowledging what people leaving downtown were saying, “some protesters turned more aggressive and dangerous despite urging otherwise from most of those involved.”
By 1 am the situation had become critical, Mayor Ben Walsh declared a State of Emergency in the city of Syracuse. The declaration Which reads in part, “Whereas the conditions of civil unrest and disturbance within the City of Syracuse are causing or are likely to cause a threat to the maintenance of law and order or endanger property, life, or the safety and welfare of the citizens of the city of Syracuse…”
updated declaration of a State of Special Emergency in the City of Syracuse to be in alignment with the Proclamation of an Emergency in and for Onondaga County. The city declaration includes the establishment of a curfew which shall remain in place for five days or until termination by the Office of the Mayor, whichever is earlier. The update notes that this curfew shall not apply to persons travelling to and from places of employment.
State of Special Emergency in the City of Syracuse, including the establishment of a curfew beginning immediately, which shall remain in place until termination by the Office of the Mayor, prohibiting all persons from remaining in any public place during the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.