Update: Trenton has moved its curfew up by an hour to 7 p.m., according to the mayor’s office. It will remain in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.
A weekend of peaceful protests and marches in Trenton ended with chaos and a curfew Sunday night.
The city is now on “lockdown,” said mayor Reed Gusciora, and the 8 p.m. curfew will stay in place through June 1.
Hundreds gathered in Trenton on Saturday and Sunday to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd died after Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the neck of a subdued and handcuffed Floyd for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was unresponsive for almost three of those nine minutes.
Saturday’s protest started on West State Street and was “peaceful and productive,” Gusciora said in a press conference late Sunday night.
“I share the outrage of the brutality in the death of George Floyd that should never have happened,” Gusciora said. “I share the outrage of the community.”
Sunday’s protest was largely the same, though violence erupted into the evening hours. A liquor store, a sneaker store and a PNC bank were broken into.
It is unclear whether or not the protests and after-dark looting are connected. Residents and march attendees have reported a second group that gathered in the city after the protest dispersed was responsible for the violence. Gusciora mentioned “out-of-towners.”
“I don’t believe looting a sneaker store or a liquor store really is productive or keeps the discussion going,” Gusciora said. “We have so many things that we need to focus on in this city, whether it be economic development or creating a better city and moving it forward. This sends us backwards. It sends the wrong message. I understand that there is anger across America, from New York to Philadelphia to Los Angeles, and we’re no different.”