Local emergency declared in Lynchburg after protests and rioting
The city of Lynchburg has declared a local emergency in the wake of
overnight. It's in effect until further notice.
Because the city doesn't have powers to implement an official curfew, a voluntary curfew has been asked of residents from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
City Manager Bonnie Svrcek said, "This afternoon we come to you with heavy hearts, given the civil unrest that occured last night into the early morning hours in our city."
She said such civil unrest is leading to extra demands on the city's police, fire, EMS and communications workers, leading to the emergency.
The city is using Governor Northam's
as the model for this local emergency.
Mayor Treney Tweedy praised residents who have held peaceful protests, and slammed people engaging in criminal activity and are patting themselves on the back, saying, "You have done nothing to advance the cause of equality."
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Police Chief Ryan Zuidema said, "There's a difference between a protest and a riot," saying protests don't include violence and destruction.
to watch the entire news conference.
Two police officers were hurt and two people were arrested after violence in Lynchburg followed similar civil unrest elsewhere in Virginia and around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week; a police officer there has been charged with his murder.
Police said charges are pending against other people involved in rioting, which included police cruisers being shot, and that there will be a heavy and visible police presence in the city for the foreseeable future.