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Dover mayor lifts curfew

Emily Lytle * Delaware
elytle@doverpost.com
Dover Post

Mayor Robin Christiansen rescinded Dover’s citywide curfew in an update to his state of emergency declaration June 13.

Christiansen first issued the curfew May 31, following protests that turned destructive. It lasted from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily.

The curfew drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware, which urged the mayor to end it in a June 12 release.

“Nearly two weeks after protests swelled across the country in response to the death of George Floyd and police violence in Black communities, Dover’s restrictive curfew remains in place,” said the ACLU in a statement. “And yet, even in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the unrest, residents have been without a curfew for nearly a week.”

During an interview June 12, Christiansen said he had not seen the letter, but the ACLU could take up any objection with the city solicitor.

“Trust me, I wouldn’t put it in place if it didn’t need to be,” he said. “And until I see such time that this city is not in potential jeopardy to have issues, I’m going to have this in place as a tool that we need to make sure everybody’s safe.”

Christiansen took offense to the ACLU’s comparison to Minneapolis.

“How dare they compare the city of Dover to Minneapolis. First off, I don’t have cops that are like that, and the city of Dover is much better, much more mature and much more cosmopolitan than they are,” he said.

During the city council meeting June 8, the mayor clarified that the curfew is not mandatory and does not inhibit any businesses from operating. The city will not block off streets, and public transportation runs as normal. “It’s not to curtail the God-given rights of our citizens,” he said.

For more on the original curfew, visit cityofdover.com/media/Mayor/Cerfew%206-1-2020.pdf.