Jacksonville imposes curfew, chief says it’s not related to protests

Jacksonville parks curfew

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - The East Alabama city of Jacksonville is now the latest city to impose a curfew.

The curfew doesn’t involve the whole city, just its 10 parks, including Jacksonville Square in the city square.

Chief Marcus Wood says it comes after police started noticing graffiti popping up in the city, usually in the overnight hours.

He says, however, it has nothing to do with the protests over the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police.

“We appreciate them being a force for us, because we don’t want bad cops in law enforcement,” Wood said. “We don’t want the curfew to be a muzzle on peaceful protests.”

He says one such protest at the square Monday went off peacefully, and he expects another one scheduled for next Monday to also go off successfully.

“So we thought it would be a good measure to be proactive, and to make sure people were aware of what their expectations are when they’re on city property and doing their protesting,” said Wood.

The curfew will be implemented from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the time being.

Jacksonville’s parks normally close at sunset and reopen at sunrise, but Wood says people have differing interpretations for that, so he, the mayor, and parks and recreation director decided to issue the curfew for clarification purposes, and because protesters often come from out of town.

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