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Mayor’s Updated Emergency Order Extends Curfew

Patti Singer

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren on July 15, 2020, announced a curfew in response to several weeks of violence. File photo

Mayor Lovely Warren has extended the emergency order that prohibits groups from gathering after 11 p.m.

Warren issued an update July 20, citing continued concerns over health and safety, according to a spokesman.

On July 15, Warren decreed that no public gatherings of five or more people are allowed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.. No indoor gatherings of 10 or more unrelated people are allowed during that time. However, locations licensed by the state Alcohol Beverage Control Law are exempt.

Warren enacted the curfew in response to a violent six weeks in which 70 people were shot and eight were killed. She said the curfew would be extended as long as needed.

Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said that the resources required to break up large outdoor gatherings – sometimes with as many as 500 people – delayed response to other 911 calls.

The curfew was tested the first night, when a group of protesters gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Park before 11 p.m., marched a few blocks before returning to the park. At about 2 a.m. July 16, after several orders by police to disperse, 30 people were arrested.

Through July 21, police said no other arrests have been made in relation to the curfew.

The emergency order was initially made on March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated emergency order notes that “throughout the summer months of 2020, and increasingly during the month of July, groups of individuals in the City of Rochester are gathering both indoors and outdoors in public places, without face masks and without social distancing as required by the Governor’s Executive Orders, in particular during the late-night and early morning hours, and that some such gatherings have resulted in physical fighting and violence, increasing the risk of transmission and community spread of the virus … “

The order can be renewed every five days.