The nightly curfew prohibiting George Floyd protesters from taking to the streets of San Francisco overnight will end Thursday morning at 5 a.m., Mayor London Breed has announced.
San Francisco imposed the curfew after a confrontational but largely peaceful protest ended Saturday with looting and vandalism. A second round of protests on Sunday led to more than 80 arrests after the curfew went into effect.
Breed announced an end to the curfew in a series of tweets shortly after noon Wednesday, recognizing the importance of the protests over the death of Floyd and saying that The City “will continue to facilitate any and all peaceful demonstrations.”
“Following the events of Saturday night, it was important for the safety of our residents to ensure that we could prevent the violence and vandalism that had taken place,” Breed said. “But we know that the overwhelming majority of people out protesting are doing so peacefully and we trust that will continue.”
The announcement comes after a lengthy debate at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday night about the curfew’s impact on free speech and community tensions with police.
While supervisors have the power to end the curfew, they must vote unanimously to do so and remained divided Tuesday, with some arguing the measure was necessary for public safety.
The board agreed to revisit the subject later this week.
There was reason to fear the curfew could itself spur further conflict. A small group of protesters seeking to challenge it were arrested late Tuesday night outside the Hall of Justice in San Francisco, KQED has reported.