The cities of Faribault and Northfield, and Dakota County have instituted an 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31 curfew for all residents.
Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer, in a Facebook post, announced there is no curfew in that city.
While the decision to enact the Faribault curfew is a proactive measures to reduce the possibility of civil disobedience, vandalism, looting, civil unrest and rioting resulting in property damage and threats to the health and safety of its residents, Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen said his department if aware of vague threats and potential criminal activity directed toward the Faribault area.
The Faribault City Council recognizes and supports the right to peaceful protests, which have been seen across the country following the death of George Perry Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. However, due to some acts of civil disobedience, vandalism, looting and rioting, the city felt the curfew was a necessity.
The trend of curfews has rapidly spread throughout the Twin Cities and beyond after several nights of unrest in the metro. The local curfew, which includes all public places, including streets, lasts until 6 a.m. Monday, June 1. It may be extended into Monday and Tuesday if local leaders find it necessary to protect lives and property.
According to Gov. Tim Walz, the curfew in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Friday and Saturday night allowed law enforcement to target those who meant to do harm to our communities.
During the hours of the curfew, all persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place. All law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and members of the news media, as well as other personnel authorized by City, County, State, or Federal jurisdictions are exempt from the curfew. Individuals seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, experiencing homelessness, and travelling directly to and from employment or a religious service are also exempt.
Businesses may remain open.
For purposes of this emergency declaration, "travel" includes, without limitation, travel on foot, bicycle, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, or any other mode of transporting a person from one location to another. "Public Place" means any place, whether on privately or publicly owned property, accessible to the general public, including but not limited to public streets, roads, alleys, highways, sidewalks, parks, vacant lots and unsupervised property.
“I applaud all those that want to safely and peacefully protest the tragic death of George Floyd; however, we cannot control those who may take advantage of the situation and damage property or endanger the safety of our community as has happened in neighboring cities. It is out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of all of our community members that this curfew declaration is put in place,” said Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell.
Dakota County and other greater Twin City areas have experienced continuous nights of civil disobedience, including damaged and burglarized property, since George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25.
A nighttime curfew for all public places within the city of Northfield, including streets, will start at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31 until 6 a.m. Monday, June 1. The city administrator in consultation with the police chief may extend the curfew for hours stated above for the evenings of June 2 and June 3, if necessary.
“We’ve heard concerns from many of our business and community members regarding the possibility of violence and/or property damage. There are not any new, imminent threats to the Northfield community, but we believe the curfew is an important tool to help provide for the safety and security of our community,” said Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson.
During the hours of the curfew, all persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place. All law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and members of the news media, as well as other personnel authorized by county, city, state or federal jurisdictions are exempt from the curfew. Individuals seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, experiencing homelessness, and traveling directly to and from employment or a religious service are also exempt.
A violation of this emergency declaration is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Sec. 12.45.
In a message to residents, Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins announced the countywide curfew extends from 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31 to 6 a.m. Monday, June 1.
"This is not a decision taken lightly, and I am personally sorry for the inconvenience it causes to law-abiding residents," he said. "Significant activity occurred in many parts of Dakota County over the last two nights, and the curfew imposed for Friday and Saturday nights helped prevent these situations from growing far more serious. Local police chiefs from cities across Dakota County found the curfew so helpful and effective that they reached out this morning to county officials to strongly request the countywide curfew be extended to this evening.
"Residents’ support and willingness to follow the order is deeply appreciated, and creates a safer situation for the public and for local law enforcement.
"The countywide order expires Monday morning at 6 a.m. After tonight, curfew decisions are planned to rest with individual cities.
"During the hours of the curfew, please avoid travel on any public street or in any public place. Law enforcement, fire and medical personnel, as well as news media and other authorized personnel, are exempt from the curfew. Also, individuals who must travel to and from work during the curfew are permitted to do so. Individuals seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, experiencing homelessness or traveling for religious services are also exempt.
Please stay safe and call 911 to report criminal or suspicious activity. Thank you for suffering this inconvenience to aid local law enforcement in their efforts "to protect our residents and businesses from harm."