GRAND RAPIDS — A 48-hour state of civil emergency and overnight curfew has expired in Grand Rapids after city commissioners largely opposed extending them today.
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss signed the emergency declaration on Sunday following a night of downtown protests against police brutality and in the wake of the death of George Floyd. The curfew was in place Sunday and Monday nights, and police made 12 arrests during protests last night that extended beyond the 7 p.m. curfew, according to media reports.
At a Committee of the Whole meeting this morning, city commissioners largely opposed the state of emergency and curfew extension. Commissioner Nathaniel Moody supported the extension.
City Manager Mark Washington said the curfew “helped us restore order in our city” and is “not punishment — it is mitigation.”
During today’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Commissioner Joe Jones — who also leads the Urban League of West Michigan — said he has been “experiencing a roller coaster of emotions” since Saturday. Jones said he witnessed both local residents peacefully protesting and “outside agitators” who came to “inflict chaos.”
“As the head of a civil rights organization, I don’t need (outsiders) to do our bidding for the civil rights of those historically marginalized,” Jones said, adding that the city must address longstanding problems of inequity and strained police-community relations. “There is a lot of brokenness going on in our city beyond the windows. It’s been broke. As a collective, we have the capacity to repair that which has been broken.”