Dallas, San Antonio lift curfews as protests continue

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Protesters gather at the Solidarity Rally and March for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in Dallas on May 29, 2019. Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

City officials announced that curfews in Dallas and San Antonio would end Saturday, signaling a relaxation of restrictions meant to tamp down unrest as protestors continue to turn out en masse across the state.

Texas cities have experienced days of ongoing protests over police brutality and systemic racial inequalities — demonstrations spurred by the death of George Floyd, a black man originally from Houston who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May. City officials across Texas began enacting curfews in late May to control protests and demonstrations, which in some cities have turned violent.

Dallas instituted a curfew last week mandating that people stay indoors in certain neighborhoods from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., under penalty of arrest. Following multiple testimonials from Dallas residents at last week’s Dallas City Council meeting who voiced concerns with the city’s management of the crisis, Dallas officials announced the curfew would lifted Saturday.

“We’ve seen many moving and peaceful protests over the last few days, some of which I joined,” City Manager T.C. Broadnax said in a statement. “We heard feedback from residents ready to open and conduct business in central Dallas and we agree it’s time. The city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department continue to respect and protect the rights of peaceful demonstrators.”

San Antonio followed with an announcement that after several days of peaceful protests, it would be lifting its days-long curfew as well.

“The dialogue between the City, organizers, and demonstrators is a welcome development that is emblematic of the San Antonio way, and I am encouraged that we are able to end the curfew sooner than planned,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a news release.

While protests continue in many North Texas cities, city officials in Irving and Ft. Worth let their curfews expire earlier this week. And though Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has voiced his support for a curfew, city officials have yet to enact one.