ORLANDO, Fla. – The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked outrage across the country, including through protests in Central Florida.
Floyd’s death was caught on video, the footage going viral, showing Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he could no longer breathe.
Demonstrators are now demanding justice for Floyd and police accountability in the form of marches, vigils and protests in the Central Florida area. Some protests have taken a dangerous turn, resulting in officers deploying tear gas or using pepper spray to disperse crowds.
As a result, some counties in Central Florida have enacted a curfew to help prevent vandalism and looting. Here are the Central Florida counties under curfew.
Orange County officials issued a curfew Sunday. The curfew, which also includes the city of Orlando, begins at 10 p.m. and rungs until 5 a.m.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the curfew was put in place as a proactive measure and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“The decision to again institute a curfew really had nothing to do with trying to stifle individuals from being able to express their First Amendment rights, that really wasn’t our goal, my goal, again, is to stop the spread of the virus,” Demings said. “I take that role and responsibility very seriously, in this community."
County officials announced Sunday a curfew would be in effect until further notice.
The county-wide curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. County leaders saying it was a matter of safety.
“We stand with those peacefully protesting the tragic death of George Floyd and we fully support the rights of our citizens to express their outrage over this situation,” said Lake County Commission Chairman Leslie Campione. “But we condemn vandalism, violence and lawlessness that is causing great harm to communities across our country. To protect our citizens, businesses and first responders, we are imposing a curfew throughout Lake County which starts tonight at 10 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. until such time as the curfew is lifted.”
Polk County’s curfew expired Tuesday, Sheriff Grady Judd saying they could extend it again if “civil unrest” were to persist.
This is a developing story, check back at Clickorlando.com for updates.