RENO — Mayor Hillary Schieve moved out of caution Tuesday to reimpose an overnight curfew in Northern Nevada’s largest city, three days after rioters and vandals swarmed downtown Reno, damaging, defacing and destroying buildings and other property.
The 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will remain in effect until further notice, the mayor said in a statement released about 5 p.m.
No one other than law enforcement, military and emergency response personnel, government officials and authorized media are permitted on streets, parks or other public places “unless they have an essential reason to be out,” such as for work, seeking medical care, or some other urgent reason.
The city’s statement said there “are currently no known threats to the Reno community.”
A peaceful afternoon demonstration Saturday in the wake of last week’s death in of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the trigger for ongoing riots across the nation, devolved as night fell into a destructive melee. Reno City Hall, the police station, and other public and private property were damaged and fires set by rock-throwing rioters. Police responded with tear gas and flash grenades, arresting about two dozen people on various charges before the violence subsided about 11:30 p.m.
The city imposed a curfew Saturday and Sunday night but not Monday. Late Monday evening, however, police issued an alert citing concern that an ongoing incident in Oakland, California, three-and-a-half hours away, was breaking up and that fragmented smaller groups might “be headed to our region.”
The information later proved to be unfounded, police said. Authorites over the weekend said they suspected many of the participants in Saturday night’s violence might have traveled to Reno from outside the immediate area.
With the reimposed curfew, the city did not intend “to prevent lawful and orderly protests and demonstrations or to curtail the right of the public to engage in free speech or lawful assembly,” according to the statement, only to “protect the Reno community and those who engage in lawful protests and not to disrupt business and essential travel.”
Residents were advised to expect “a strong police presence throughout the City,” with the department “monitoring protests and demonstrations in the region.”