The City Sentinel Online, Staff Report
Oklahoma City – Mayor David Holt Sunday night signed a proclamation of a state of emergency in Oklahoma City that includes a curfew for parts of downtown due to violent actions by people near the police station since 9 p.m.
“There are very important issues that we as a city and a nation should confront, and all daytime protests this weekend raising these issues have been peaceful,” said Mayor Holt. “However, we learned last night that things can change after dark. After 9 p.m. tonight, and after a very healthy dialogue between police and protestors the last few hours outside our police headquarters, protestors began launching fireworks and objects at police officers who were merely standing outside the headquarters. On the request of the Chief of Police and he City Manager, I am providing law enforcement with a tool they need to ensure public safety overnight in downtown. I am proclaiming a state of emergency and instituting a curfew for parts of downtown that will commence at 10 p.m [Sunday night, May 31}.”
A curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in downtown Oklahoma City between NW 4th Street on the north, Harvey Avenue on the east, Sheridan Avenue on the south and Classen Boulevard on the west.
No one is allowed on public property or vacant premises in the curfew area, except for public safety services, during curfew hours.
The emergency proclamation prohibits the manufacture, transfer, use, possession or transportation of Molotov cocktails or similar explosive devices anywhere in Oklahoma City. It also bans transporting, possessing or using gasoline, kerosene and similar substances in glass or uncapped containers, except for normal operation of vehicles, or legitimate home or commercial use.
The state of emergency will remain in effect until the Mayor signs a proclamation to end it. It is separate from the state of emergency proclaimed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background From City Staff
People held peaceful protests Saturday evening near NW 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard. People also held peaceful protests Sunday afternoon in Northeast [Oklahoma City] and downtown.
Late in the evening on Saturday, isolated incidents of violence broke out in an area spanning from Classen Boulevard to the Oklahoma City police headquarters. Illegal acts included throwing objects at police officers, vandalism of private property, looting of local businesses, damaged and destroyed law enforcement vehicles, and more.
The Mayor determined a state of emergency exists because disorder and rioting commenced again Sunday after 9 p.m. in the area of the police headquarters.
The City’s emergency proclamation is authorized under Chapter 15 Article III of City Code and Title 21, Section 21, Section 1321.9 of Oklahoma Statutes. The Mayor may modify the state of emergency for as long as it remains in effect.