COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The City of Columbus will continue to enforce a 10 pm to 6 am city-wide curfew Sunday night in response to violence during protests in the city.
At approximately 9:35 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a construction trash fire at Oak and Fifth streets near where the protests were held.
Then, at about 3 a.m. Sunday, another fire was reported at an empty apartment complex under construction near Topiary Park.
According to Columbus Fire Chief Steve Martin, the fire is considered suspicious.
It is unknown if either fires is related to protests, and it is not yet known how they were started.
According to a Facebook post from the Columbus Division of Police, 59 people have been arrested since Saturday.
“Our city has had enogh,” the post reads.
No end date to the curfew was announced. Anyone outside without authorization can be arrested.
The announcement was made Saturday, as Governor DeWine said the National Guard would be used to assist Columbus police.
All downtown Columbus streets are closed indefinitely, according to CPD. Anyone working downtown will need to show ID.
Exemptions from the curfew include:
- Law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel
- Members of the news media
- Individuals traveling directly to and from work
- Individuals seeking care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, or experiencing homelessness
Protesters again gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse Saturday, demonstrating against police brutality after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on Monday.
Saturday’s protest remained largely peaceful, with police warning demonstrators to stay on the sidewalk.
Protesters chanted “black lives matter,” “who do you serve?” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”
“I understand the anger and frustration that has led to these protests – and I share them. Racism, discrimination and injustice have led us to this moment. I want to assure our residents we are making real change and are committed to confronting racism where we see it,” Ginther said during a press conference Saturday afternoon. “But at this moment some people are intent on causing chaos and destruction, not on creating positive change in our community and threaten to drown out the voice of demanding justice and our collective safety.”
Rep. Joyce Beatty told NBC4 she and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin were pepper sprayed while trying to intervene in an incident where a protester was scuffling with police.
Shortly after noon, video showed police officers on horses attempting to remove people from the street and push them back to the sidewalk. Shortly after that, tear gas was used to disperse the crowd.
At about 12:30pm, police began announcing an emergency order had been issued and told protestors they needed to leave the area. Police stated that crowd control devices, including chemical agents, may be used, and protestors were subject to arrest if they did not leave the area.
COTA announced it is rerouting several bus lines due to the protest.
Peaceful protests in Columbus turned violent Thursday night when a few demonstrators threw objects at police, destroyed city property and broke into the Ohio Statehouse.
The Friday protest turned violent once again and police used pepper spray after protesters threw objects, including glass, at officers. Two officers were injured as a result of rocks and bricks being thrown at them, according to Columbus Police.
Columbus Police also report five people were arrested Friday night. Businesses on High Street in the Short North were also vandalized.
Chief Thomas Quinlan said the division has heard reports of out of state groups having a hand in the destruction in Columbus. He said this has been extremely costly for the city, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for the police presence.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., police fired several canisters of tear gas at protesters in downtown Columbus. Video shows several objects being thrown at mounted police officers before the tear gas was fired.