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Rock Island County mayors issue mandatory curfew
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Rock Island County mayors issue mandatory curfew

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Six Rock Island County mayors have announced a county-wide curfew beginning tonight at 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., declaring a civil emergency in the wake of protests that have turned violent. The curfew will remain in effect until further notice. 

The decision comes after a night of rolling riots in Davenport in which two people were killed and two people were injured, including a police officer. Law enforcement agencies from Illinois assisted Davenport Police and Scott County Sheriff's deputies amid the outbreak of violence in that city.

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms, Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri, East Moline Mayor Reggie Freeman, Silvis Mayor Matt Carter, Milan Mayor Duane Dawson and Coal Valley Mayor Mike Bartels issued a joint press release late Monday afternoon outlining the executive orders. 

"Mayors have agreed to curtail movement in the neighboring communities due to the increase in the number and seriousness of crimes committed against persons and property in and around the Quad Cities," the release said. "This has created a menace to the preservation of public peace, safety, health, morals and welfare, according to the orders being issued."

Illinois law states the directive for a curfew must come from individual mayors, not the county. 

Rock Island County Administrator Jim Snider said officials expect riots to spill over from Scott County and into Rock Island County Monday night, the latest among nationwide riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis one week ago at the hands of a white police officer.

"Having a voice and speaking out against injustice is a well-embraced constitutional right. However, doing so in a violent way by damaging, vandalizing and destroying property is not," Acri said in the release. "Therefore, I and the mayors of our neighboring communities are issuing this curfew until some sense of safety and order can be restored."

Under the order, all individuals must be indoors during curfew hours with the exception of city and government officials; police, fire and public works employees; military personnel; medical personnel; or credentialed members of the news media. Travel to and from work during curfew hours is allowed.

Any individuals not indoors between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. should be prepared to show valid identification. Anyone traveling to and from work during curfew hours are allowed to do so, and public transportation will continue to operate on schedule.

East Moline city administrator Doug Maxeiner said that at Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Freeman will add an item to the agenda seeking to establish temporary executive powers to declare a state of emergency due to the mass demonstrations that have turned violent nationally and locally.

Silvis City Clerk Jim Nelson relayed the news that Mayor Matt Carter had signed an executive order for a curfew in Silvis. 

"The county doesn’t have the authority to declare a curfew," Nelson said. "Each municipality has to do it themselves, by executive order."

Police in Silvis will be out patrolling and working extra hours to enforce it, Nelson said.

The village of Coal Valley also is honoring the curfew at the same time as the others, Village Administrator Annette Ernst said Monday.

Thoms said Rock Island police are ready in case any trouble breaks out. 

"Police are working longer shifts than normal, but I believe we are prepared," Thoms said. "All departments are working together. If there is a need for assistance, other law enforcement will come to the aid of other cities. 

"We've heard rumblings about Southpark (Mall) and Walmart, specifically," he said. "The curfew allows the police department to monitor who's out there. If they see cars in a parking lot, they know there's a curfew in place and they shouldn't be there. It makes it easier to spot things.

"For that reason, we hope the curfew will work."

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