Local emergency called in Lynchburg after protests and rioting

WDBJ7 photo of Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema
WDBJ7 photo of Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 2:21 PM EDT
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The city of Lynchburg has called a local emergency in the wake of

. It's in effect until further notice.

Because the city doesn't have powers to implement an official curfew, a voluntary curfew has been asked of residents from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.

City Manager Bonnie Svrcek said, "This afternoon, we come to you with heavy hearts, given the civil unrest that occurred last night into the early morning hours in our city."

She said such civil unrest is leading to extra demands on the city's police, fire, EMS and communications workers, leading to the emergency.

The city is using Governor Northam's

as the model for their local emergency.

Mayor Treney Tweedy praised residents who have held peaceful protests, and slammed people engaging in criminal activity, saying, "You have done nothing to advance the cause of equality."

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Police Chief Ryan Zuidema said, "There's a difference between a protest and a riot," saying protests don't include violence and destruction.

You can watch the entire news conference


Two police officers were hurt and two people were arrested after violence in Lynchburg followed similar civil unrest elsewhere in Virginia and around the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week; a police officer there has been charged with his murder, and charges are expected against other officers who stood by.

Lynchburg police said charges are pending against other people involved in rioting, which included police cruisers being shot, and that there will be a heavy and visible police presence in the city for the foreseeable future.

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