Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced a citywide curfew Sunday that will remain in effect "while necessary," according to news station WSAV.
The curfew will extend from 8:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, WSAV reported.
“We have experienced a great day of peaceful demonstrations, necessary dialogue, unity and solidarity,” Johnson told WSAV. “We want to continue to ensure the safety of our citizens, visitors and the protection of property. This is an uncomfortable-but-necessary step in making that happen.”
The city said anyone out after curfew should expect to be stopped and questioned, WSAV reported.
About 8:05 p.m. Sunday, protesters blocked part of Broughton Street in Savannah, reporter Jackson Kurtz said.
Moments ago: Protesters have blocked a part of Broughton Street. #SavannahProtest— (@jacksonkurtz33)May 31 2020
Earlier Sunday, people gathered in Savannah, Augusta and Columbus to peacefully protest the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died while in police custody.
»COMPLETE COVERAGE: ATLANTA PROTESTS
Hundreds made their way Sunday afternoon through downtown Savannah to honor Floyd, according to news outlet WSAV, but the city was bracing for possible trouble later.
Gov. Brian Kemp’s office told WSAV about reports of protesters placing backpacks full of bricks and wood around Savannah’s squares.
The governor’s office just told me they’re hearing protesters are placing backpacks full of bricks and wood around Savannah’s squares.— Kelly Antonacci (@Kelly_Antonacci) May 31, 2020
They say violent protesters made a similar move in Charleston. According to them — protesters from Charleston are here
This is Ellis Square: pic.twitter.com/YQM25RJMfD
Kemp’s office said similar moves were made in Charleston, South Carolina, where protests turned destructive and violent, according to WSAV.
The governor’s officials said protesters from Charleston are in town, WSAV reported, and local law enforcement is keeping an eye out for buses of out-of-town protesters moving in Sunday night.
Kemp’s office said it is working with GEMA to strategically place National Guard soldiers around the city.
»RELATED: Who was George Floyd?
Earlier Sunday, District 6 Alderman Kurtis Purtee, who has a long history in law enforcement, told WSAV that Sunday’s march was good, but he admitted it has been difficult for him.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 19 years, and I know we can do a better job than what we’re doing now,” Purtee told the news outlet.
District 2 Alderman Detric Leggett told WSAV the demonstration remained peaceful.
“We take care of our friends, our family and our neighbors,” Leggett told the TV station.
The crowd, which reportedly stretched to Johnson Square and beyond, made its way to Savannah’s City Hall, where participants heard from multiple speakers.
Johnson and Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter attended the event, according to WSAV.
Johnson called for justice and for peace, according to WSAV.
“Because we love our city, we are not going to let anyone come to our home and trash our home, nobody,” Johnson said, according to the station.
The crowd remained nonviolent and cheered as the mayor spoke, WSAV reported.
Johnson said Savannah will not stand for injustice.
“This is a moment,” the mayor said, according to WSAV. “What happens tomorrow is a movement.”
He also called on the community to respect police officers, saying not all of them are bad, WSAV reported.
After hearing from the mayor, protesters began marching down Bay Street.
The crowd, which chanted and carried signs, remained peaceful, according to the news outlet.
Despite no reported violence, some business owners boarded up their doors or planned to close early Sunday night, according to WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian.
Despite what seems to be a peaceful protests businesses around Savannah are boarding up their store fronts. @WSAV pic.twitter.com/m8LUd59Y4A— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) May 31, 2020
The Georgia National Guard and the Savannah Police Department were at the event, but they remained away from the crowds, according to Bozarjian.
The National Guard showed up just a few minutes ago. They are NOT making their way towards the crowds right now. They are standing back with the Savannah Police Department. @WSAV pic.twitter.com/Y9WGQEbdqY— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) May 31, 2020
After a weekend of violent protests across the United States, Augusta came together peacefully to protest Floyd's death, according to news outlet WRDW.
Hundreds marched down Washington Road in unity, holding signs that read “Am I next?” “No justice, no peace” and “WE can't breathe.”
Protesters were joined by Richmond County Sheriff's Office personnel, who walked with the crowd and helped direct traffic, WRDW reported.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree spoke before the march and thanked the crowd for its peaceful protest Saturday afternoon along Wrightsboro Road. He also told protesters they had the Sheriff’s Office’s support and pleaded for peace, according to the news outlet.
Protesters stopped at each intersection, forming a circle for a moment of reflection, WRDW reported. People driving nearby reportedly honked their horns in support.
Augusta has had three recent protests, and all were peaceful, according to WRDW.
About 20 were arrested about 4 p.m. in Columbus after a peaceful protest ended, news station WRBL reported.
Columbus police made the arrests when a group of protesters allegedly entered Veterans Parkway at 13th Street, authorities told WRBL.
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson and Police Chief Ricky Boren said it was a second gathering after the peaceful protest ended downtown, the station reported.
Boren said there was no violence, according to WRBL, and the people were charged with failure to disburse.
“All I have heard is a number of them came back after the protest was over,” Henderson told WRBL. “I was told it was not the core group that organized the original protest.”
A large group gathered at 1 p.m. Sunday for the peaceful protest in downtown Columbus, WTVM reported.
The crowd gathered at the River Center and marched downtown along Broadway, according to the news outlet. The route ended at the River Center.
Protesters chanted “I can’t breathe,” the same words Floyd was heard saying on video while he was in police custody, WTVM reported.
City officials and police assisted at the protest. Henderson, Boren and district attorney candidate Mark Jones attended the event, according to WTVM.
Macon community members and faith leaders gathered for a moment of prayer and peaceful demonstration Saturday in downtown Macon, news outlet WMAZ reported.
People gathered at Rosa Parks Square to honor Floyd and two other African Americans who recently were killed: Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick.
“And others we may not be aware of,” said Walter L. Glover of Zion Hill Baptist Church, according to WMAZ. “When I hear him saying, ‘I can’t breathe.' How long will this be? How many black men and women will have to lose their lives? How long will it take until racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?”
Faith leaders prayed for health care workers, the community and law enforcement, WMAZ reported.
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