City of Reno lifts curfew, discourages large gatherings at night
With the city still on edge from Saturday night's rioting, the sudden announcement of a curfew Tuesday likely had many of us fearing the worst and wondering how long it would remain in effect?
Tuesday morning the curfew was cancelled and early this afternoon during a remote press conference, Police Chief Jason Soto explained why it was called in the first place.
"At one point we did have a group heading toward the police department that caused us to block off the street to prepare for some trouble," said Soto, who is acting city manager.
The threat didn't materialize and so the curfew was cancelled and that, he said, is how things will work going forward.
"Curfew is more of something that we would put into place when there is danger to our community. We don't think that's the case now. That's why it was lifted."
Large gatherings are still highly discouraged, though he said enforcement will be specific to criminal activity.
Black Lives Matter organizers are planning a 'Peace Vigil' this Sunday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the downtown plaza. Soto says the city is working with them and he expects no problems, but he says the city will be prepared if trouble follows.
On another matter, he said a formal policy is in the works requiring an RPD officer to intervene, if he or she witnessed another officer using excessive force, as allegedly happened in Minneapolis. But, he said, the policy will be nothing new, that it's long been part of the training of Reno officers, something that expected of them.
"For the past several decades there's been an expectation of officers that if they saw excessive force they would step in and stop that excessive force. In fact, that's happened countless times during my career."
But he agreed it's time to put that policy in black and white.
The City of Reno said Wednesday it is rescinding the citywide curfew implemented Tuesday, but is asking people not to gather in groups of 50 or more during certain hours.
“With all the information and intel we have at this time, we feel we can safely lift citywide restrictions,” said Jason Soto, Reno Police Chief and Acting City Manager.
The City of Reno asked people not to gather in groups of 50 or more on public streets, plazas, and other public spaces nightly from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. until further notice.
“In light of the events of this past weekend, our Acting Reno Police Chief reserves the right to disperse large gatherings when they become an imminent threat to public safety,” Soto added.
“Our primary focus is the safety of our community, and the safety of our police department and personnel,” said Tom Robinson, Acting Police Chief.
Mayor Hillary Schieve has lifted the city-wide curfew instituted on Tuesday.
In a tweet, city spokesperson Jon Humbert said the plan is to modify the curfew to be limited to large gatherings of 50 or more people from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. He says the curfew is specifically applied to criminal acts.
This is a developing story. More details are expected Wednesday afternoon.
The city said there are currently no known threats to the Reno community, and that the city will not prevent lawful and orderly protests and demonstrations or curtail the right of the public to engage in free speech or lawful assembly as authorized by the United State Constitution.
The intent of the curfew is to protect the Reno community and those who engage in lawful protests and not to disrupt business and essential travel. The city said the priority is the safety of our community.
There will continue to be a strong police presence throughout the city. The Reno Police department will be monitoring protests and demonstrations in the region and is fully staffed to respond to public safety incidents, should they arise, the city said.