Following two days of protests in or near Gwinnett County's government seat in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Lawrenceville Mayor David Still and the city council will implement a 9 p.m. curfew beginning tonight.
Officials said the curfew will be strictly enforced and will be evaluated for extension into Tuesday and Wednesday. Information was being circulated on social media Monday morning promoting a 5 p.m. protest at Lawrenceville City Hall.
In addition, City Hall will close to the public at 3 p.m. today. All public meetings currently on the city calendar are cancelled and will be rescheduled for the week of June 8–12.
“The safety of our citizens and employees is our top priority,” Still said. “The city of Lawrenceville supports peaceful and respectful protests, and our police department will continue to ensure the safety of the protesters, the public and prevent property damage in our city.”
Lawrenceville Police Department Lt. Jake Parker said the curfew is meant for pedestrian traffic in the downtown area.
"We're aware that a lot of people work late and when they get off they have to travel home," Parker said. "We're mainly putting it in place to keep people from trying to block roads or gather up on sidewalks and try to damage the businesses or property."
On Sunday, multiple protests were held within the Lawrenceville city limits. Lawrenceville police said five people were arrested in the protest that occurred Sunday evening. On Saturday, a protest was held at Sugarloaf Mills before moving to the Lawrenceville Square.
No property damage or injuries were reported in downtown Lawrenceville, although two police cars were damaged at Sugarloaf Mills. The Lawrenceville police along with multiple jurisdictions from around the county were present and maintained order.
Gwinnett County police responded to protests "in and around" the Sugarloaf Mills area in unincorporated Lawrenceville Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the protest being promoted to take place at Lawrenceville City Hall, Sugar Hill City Councilman Brandon Hembree announced on Facebook that officials in that northwest Gwinnett city are expecting a protest to be held at 5 p.m. at Sugar Hill City Hall. Hembree said he and fellow Councilman Taylor Anderson intend to "join our community at City Hall."
Lawrenceville officials are urging residents who protest the death of George Floyd and other issues they see with the treatment of minorities to keep their protests peaceful as the city prepares for potential actions on Sunday and Monday.
Citizens are encouraged to follow Lawrenceville’s Facebook Page and Twitter Page for updated information on the situation in the county seat, in addition to lawrencevillega.org.