Columbia mayor declares 7:45 p.m. curfew after third day of protests Monday

Columbia mayor declares 7:45 p.m. curfew after third day of protests Monday
The third day of protests in Columbia, South Carolina in the wake of George Floyd's death has remained peaceful. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has declared a curfew effective at 7:45 p.m. Monday for several areas.

The mayor said it will be in effect for downtown, the Vista and Five Points.

Benjamin said he made the decision after talking with business owners in those areas.

He also promised an ongoing dialogue with citizens and others.

The mayor told WIS he does not have any reports of any problems, but he is taking this measure as a proactive step and in an abundance of caution.

A citywide 11 p.m. curfew also remains in effect.

Protesters gathered in downtown Columbia on Monday after a weekend full of tension and moments of violence between them and police.

Monday’s protest began around 2 p.m. at the State House. It’s organized by the same group that called people together over the weekend.

NOW UNDERWAY: For the third straight day, a protest is taking place at the SC State House following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. THE LATEST >> https://bit.ly/3dpWXvo Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Monday, June 1, 2020

Protesters are invoking George Floyd’s name in calls for justice and calls against police brutality, especially against the black community. The group is organized by Black Lives Matter.

As of 7:40 p.m., there were still a few dozen people in front of the State House, but the protest is largely dispersed. The scene is calm.

Around 5 p.m., officers in riot gear showed up at the back of the State House as protesters remained peaceful in the front of the building along Gervais Street.

LIVE: Tensions are rising between protesters and police for the third day in downtown Columbia. THE LATEST >> https://bit.ly/2XlPuYT Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Monday, June 1, 2020

WIS crews noticed officers come into the crowd and take two people into custody, though it’s not clear why at this point.

Tensions briefly rose between protests and police, but WIS crews said things remained peaceful.

Around 2:30 p.m., protesters staged a die-in in front of the State House.

Things early on were very organized and peaceful Monday.

Protesters gathered to sing “We Shall Overcome," and around 3:30 p.m., protest organizers called for people to go home and stay peaceful.

Protesters march across the State House grounds Caroline Coleburn TV

Posted by WIS TV on Monday, June 1, 2020

“Go home and be revolutionary,” one organizer said. “Our demands are being heard and the whole point of us being here has been heard and been seen. They see us and they hear us. Now we’re about to have positive dialogue.”

The organizers said they are going to “infiltrate the system and bring it down in a peaceful and positive way.”

Mayor Benjamin was at the State House talking with protesters earlier in the day, as well, and sat down with some protesters.

This story will be updated.

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