SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Following an afternoon of peaceful protests in Savannah, calling for justice in George Floyd’s death, a citywide curfew has been put into place.
“We want to continue to ensure the safety of our citizens, visitors and the protection of property,” said Mayor Van Johnson. “This is an uncomfortable, but necessary step in making that happen.”
The curfew will extend from 8:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly “for as many days as the situation warrants.”
Johnson says anyone out after the curfew can expect to be stopped and questioned. The mayor added that those going to and from work “have nothing to worry about” and that his focus is on rooting out “bad guys.”
At the start of Sunday’s curfew, there was a brief standoff between protesters and law enforcement on Drayton and Broughton streets.
With riot gear on and tear gas in hand, Georgia State Patrol troopers and Savannah Police officers repeated announcements about the curfew to the group.
Ultimately, the protesters dispersed without incident.
Johnson said he’s been made aware of other disturbances throughout the night but only one “notable” encounter where someone threw a rock at a vehicle.
Prior to the curfew, during WSAV’s Kelly Antonacci Face
Prior to the curfew, during a Facebook Live with WSAV’s Kelly Antonacci, a man was taken into police custody following an altercation between protesters and law enforcement about a block from Ellis Square.
At the scene, District 2 Alderman Detric Leggett said many of the protesters who may be inciting violence are coming into the city from Charleston, South Carolina.
“These are not Savannahians,” he said, adding, “they drove all the way here for this.”
Heading into the late hours, the streets of Savannah seem fairly peaceful. Law enforcement will continue to patrol the city.