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National Guard sent to Reno after looting, City Hall damaged

Updated May 31, 2020 - 12:52 am

RENO — The city of Reno and Washoe County issued mandatory curfews Saturday night after Reno City Hall was damaged and looted during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

In a tweet sent at 8:46 p.m., Reno Police Chief Jason Soto said that the National Guard, along with law enforcement agencies from Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and the federal government, were en route to downtown Reno.

“Please go home, avoid arrest, and stay safe,” Soto’s tweet said.

Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a 10 p.m. statement saying he mobilized the state National Guard in response to a request from Reno authorities. Guard members would “support state and local law enforcement in preserving public safety as well as the ability of individuals to exercise their rights to peacefully demonstrate,” according to the statement.

Guard members were being deployed to guard local government buildings, allowing local police to focus on public safety and dispersing protesters.

The protest started at 2 p.m. in downtown Reno, and remained mostly peaceful for several hours as demonstrators marched up and down city streets.

Around five hours into the protest, some protesters started to break the glass windows at city hall, and some tried to start a fire near the front of the building.

Sarah Strang, managing editor of the University of Nevada, Reno student newspaper, the Nevada Sagebrush, tweeted that one of the protesters had used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the flames.

Soon after, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve announced that the city had implemented an immediate curfew.

In a series of tweets, Schieve wrote that the city supports peaceful protesting, but not violence.

“Peaceful protesting and the right to assembly are sacred. Violence and destruction are not,” Schieve wrote.

“Emotions are high and many in our community are in pain. But I implore our citizens to channel this energy into the true fight: social justice, equality, and accountability. We love our city and all who live here,” the mayor added.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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