Lynchburg declares local emergency following weekend protests
"I've declared a local emergency due to civil unrest," said Bonnie Svrcek, Lynchburg City manager.
After hours of vandalism Sunday night into Monday morning, Lynchburg leaders came together Monday afternoon to send a message to the community.
"The violence and destruction of property that occurred last night is unacceptable," said Treney Tweedy, Lynchburg City mayor.
Violence that led to the destruction of property across the city, but focused around Fifth and Federal.
Windows were shattered with rocks. Lamps were broken in the riots. Police cars were damaged.
Tweedy spoke directly to those who caused the damage, saying:
"I say to you that you have done nothing to advance the cause of equality."
As a result, a voluntary curfew goes into effect Monday at 8 p.m.
The Lynchburg Police Department says that although it is a voluntary curfew, people staying home will help police work through the night.
"That curfew will allow our officers to better keep this city safe until, as you've heard several times, calmer heads can prevail," said Ryan Zuidema, Lynchburg Police Department chief.
Others in the community also spoke at the conference.
The president of the local NAACP chapter said that younger people need to step up to be a part of change.
"At 76 years old, I have no business being the president of the NAACP, but people your age and younger won't step up to do it," said Carl Hutcherson, NAACP Lynchburg president.
Officials said that Lynchburg needs to lead the way by example.
"You have to know it, practice it and live it now. And that's the only way going forward that's gonna help us all come together," said Tweedy.
They also said that we can all have different beliefs, but at the end of the day, we have to be civil.
They say that there's no room for racism.