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West Palm Beach extends curfew through weekend

Mayor Keith James says more protests expected
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James announces he's extending curfew through weekend, June 5, 2020
Posted at 1:30 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 18:49:01-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The city of West Palm Beach held a Friday afternoon news conference to provide an update on the current state of emergency and nighttime curfew.

Mayor Keith James and Police Chief Frank Adderley spoke at the 2:30 p.m. news conference.

RELATED: West Palm police chief admits tear gas used on protesters

City officials addressed more demonstrations that are anticipated in the city and ongoing efforts to keep both the public and peaceful protesters safe.

James said residents can expect more protests on Friday and this weekend. He urged all protesters to remain peaceful.

NEWS CONFERENCE: West Palm Beach holds news conference on protests (23 minutes)

"As it has always been, and always will be, public safety is my priority No. 1," said James.

Last Sunday, a curfew was put in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. after peaceful protests turned violent later that night.

James said Friday the curfew will remain in place through the weekend.

"We will lift the curfew only when Police Chief Adderley and I have assurances that future demonstrations in our city will be peaceful," said James.

The state of emergency prohibits the sale of guns and ammo, and also the carrying of guns, per state law.

"I urge anyone planning to demonstrate in our city, this afternoon, tonight or over the weekend, to please keep it peaceful," said James. "We welcome peaceful protest in this city."

Adderley said their contact with the peaceful protesters has been great over the last few days. He said it is a smaller group of agitators that are causing problems.

"Some of the actions that have taken place [since Sunday] kind of gave us the indication that we continue to need the curfew in order to make sure that our city is safe," said Adderley.

The police chief said a "small group" of agitators who have damaged business were people who came from other cities and not West Palm Beach residents.

"This is not a game, people. People's lives are at stake," said James. "We'll restore and maintain proper law and order in this city."