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Bethel gets emergency 8 p.m. curfew for upcoming weekend

bethel protests.jpg
Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 14:42:30-04

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the name of the street where protesters and counterprotesters were lined up. WCPO apologizes for the error.

Bethel’s village council unanimously passed a weekend curfew in an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon.

Mayor Jay Dee Noble had issued an order to the same effect hours before the council meeting. The ordinance and the order both place the village under an 8 p.m. curfew beginning Friday and ending at 6 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: Bethel police chief, mayor condemn violence after counter-protesters bring weapons to rally

Both pieces of legislation are attempts to prevent a second showing of the chaos that arrived in the tiny village the weekend before, when a small, peaceful Black Lives Matter protest became the target of hundreds of armed and confrontational counterprotesters.

Videos on social media showed counterprotesters shouting racial slurs at Black Lives Matter demonstrators and warning them that they would be hurt if they participated.

Officials estimated 800 people eventually participated in the protest or counterprotest.

Bethel’s entire population is less than 3,000. Its police department staffs only six officers, who were outnumbered and struggled to contain confrontations between the groups.

The weekend curfew provides a handful of exceptions, including for people traveling to or from work, people experiencing homelessness, people attending religious services and members of the media.

Anyone planning to be outside in the area between Friday night and Monday morning should be able to prove they were doing so for a recognized purpose, council members said.