Raleigh mayor issues curfew for Friday and Saturday due to planned social justice march downtown

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced Thursday that there will be a citywide curfew in effect for Friday and Saturday nights ahead of a planned social justice march.

According to a flier for the event, demonstrators plan to "march for Jacob Blake" as well as those killed by Raleigh police.

Baldwin said she has no reason to believe the march will be anything but peaceful.

The event is supposed to start at 7 p.m. The demonstrators plan to demand an end to police brutality.

The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Saturday and from 10 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday.

"By setting a curfew, it is my hope that we can allow those assembled the opportunity to exercise their right to free speech in a peaceful way, without violence or destruction from opportunists who don't share the goals of peaceful protesters," Baldwin said in a news release.

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Raleigh mayor Baldwin answers questions about citywide curfew issued for Friday, Saturday nights


Where does the curfew apply?
The curfew applies everywhere within the City of Raleigh.

What are the hours of the curfew?
Beginning Friday, the curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.

How long will the curfew last?
The curfew will continue until rescinded. The City will continue to evaluate the situation and, depending on behaviors, determine whether it can safely relax or rescind curfew requirements. The City hopes to eliminate the curfew requirements as soon as possible.

What does the curfew require?
For people to stay inside a house or dwelling and to stay off public streets, alleys, roads and any other public property during curfew hours. The curfew allows people to travel:

  • for medical help for themselves or their family members,
  • to obtain a service or commodity needed for their well-being or the well-being of a family member, and
  • to travel directly to or directly from their home or dwelling to their place of employment.

Does the curfew apply to government meetings?
The curfew recognizes that those involved in performing essential government functions must continue to do their jobs. The curfew does not apply to law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public employees, including those involved in federal, state and local government.

Does the curfew apply to emergency workers?
No. The curfew does not apply to:
  • Law enforcement officers, licensed security guards, firefighters and other public employees in the performance of their job duties;
  • Doctors, nurses, employees of hospitals and other medical facilities in the performance of their job duties;
  • On-duty military personnel, whether state or federal;
  • On-duty employees of public or private utilities, public transportation companies, and newspaper, magazine, radio broadcasting, and television broadcasting corporations;
  • Package and freight delivery companies that package goods and deliver them to homes, and businesses operating lawfully under the curfew, including but not limited to Amazon, FedEx and UPS and their employees while on duty; and
  • On-site manufacturing and operations centers.

I operate a business that is usually open 24 hours every day, but my business isn't exempt from the curfew. Do I have to close my business? Can I or my employees stay overnight in my business?
If a business can operate without employees on-premise during curfew hours, it may do so. For example, a gas station that can operate solely with automated pumps may do so if it chooses but it likely won't have customers because of the curfew.

Because people must stay in a home or dwelling during the curfew, businesses that don't include dwellings need to close so that their employees can get home. Employees of businesses that include dwellings, such as a hotel or motel, cannot travel after 10 p.m. but may remain in the hotel or motel.

My business isn't exempt from the curfew, but I usually have employees arrive at 3 a.m. to open at 5 a.m. Can my employees come to work at 3 as usual?
If your business is located in Raleigh, you cannot begin operations until 5 a.m. unless your business is exempt from the curfew. If you open at 5 a.m., your employees can travel directly from their homes or dwellings to your business during curfew hours.

My business isn't exempt from the curfew, but my employees arrive at 5 a.m. and I open for business at 6:30 a.m. Can my employees come to work at 5 a.m. as usual?
Yes. Your employees may travel from their homes or dwellings directly to work during the curfew. The curfew ends at 5 a.m., which is the time when your business opens.

I'm an Uber/Lyft driver who doesn't live in Raleigh and wants to operate in Raleigh during curfew hours. Am I allowed to drive during the curfew?
No, you must obey the curfew. Unless you fit within an exempt category or are driving in Raleigh in search of medical assistance or other commodity or service necessary to sustain the well-being of yourself or a member of your family, you are not allowed to travel in Raleigh during the curfew hours. The curfew allows people to travel only from their home or dwelling to their own physical place of employment and otherwise they must stay off City streets and City property during curfew hours.

What happens if I have an emergency and need to get to a hospital or pick up prescription medication?
You can travel to handle the emergency. People who are in search of medical assistance or other commodity or service necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves or their families or some member thereof are allowed to travel during the curfew.

You can also call 911. Emergency workers can also travel during the curfew.

My business typically receives deliveries before 5 a.m. Do the changes in the curfew allow deliveries during curfew hours?
No, for now, deliveries must be made outside curfew hours unless your business is exempt from the curfew. Each day, the City will evaluate the situation and determine whether it can safely relax curfew requirements. The City wants to protect residents, and the curfew requirements will achieve that end. The City hopes to eliminate the curfew requirements as quickly as possible.

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On Thursday, ABC11 crews saw business owners putting up boards on the windows of buildings on Hargett Street in preparation for the demonstrations.

Baldwin said during a news conference later in the day that business owners downtown had requested that the curfew be implemented.

Jacob Blake's father has said that his son was shot eight times during his Sunday evening confrontation with police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The southeastern Wisconsin city became the nation's latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after cellphone footage of police shooting Blake -- apparently in the back as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle -- circulated widely on social media. The 29-year-old North Carolina native was hospitalized in serious condition.

The man who said he made the cellphone video said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, "Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn't see a knife in Blake's hands.

The case is still under investigation.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in a shooting by police.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, was quick to condemn the bloodshed, saying that though not all details were known, "what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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