By order of Mayor Kenneth Gulley, a State of Emergency has been declared in the city of Bessemer today, Monday, June 1, 2020, and a curfew enacted following credible threats of violence in the wake of national demonstrations and riots following the death of George Floyd Jr. at the hands of police in Minnesota.
The curfew goes into effect immediately and will last from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly for the next five days.
On Monday, residents and businesses in Bessemer made police aware of social media calls for violent demonstrations in the city. These intended demonstrations follow on the heels of violent demonstrations and looting in the city of Birmingham on Sunday evening.
In enacting the curfew, Mayor Kenneth Gulley stated the following Monday afternoon: “Good evening. Unfortunately, we have received through social media what we believe are very credible threats against the city of Bessemer. All of us are saddened by the senseless death of Mr. George Floyd. But this is not the answer and not the way to honor and support Mr. Floyd and his family. If you are going to peacefully protest, we welcome that. But what we will not tolerate is people coming into our city to incite riots and to destroy the businesses here in this city. Due to those threats, we have no choice but to declare a State of Emergency in the city of Bessemer. In declaring the State of Emergency, we will implement a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the next five days. We will reach out to State law enforcement as well (Jefferson) County law enforcement to make sure we have the necessary protections in place to make sure we do not have a problem in this city.”
Bessemer Police Chief Michael Roper stated the following: “There is a right way and wrong way to do things. If you want to effect change, honest change, there is a way to do it. Lawlessness is not the way to do it. We will not tolerate anyone coming into Bessemer to burn buildings, burn cars or any of that foolishness. That is not the way to honor Mr. Floyd. “All these threats we consider credible. We just want everyone to know we are aware of the threats and we encourage these people not to come to Bessemer with this foolishness because it will not be tolerated.”
The curfew bars demonstrations, protests, or any large gatherings on public streets. For more of Mayor Gulley’s statement, click on the following link: Click Here
To read the State of Emergency proclamation, visit the following link: Click Here