City of Wauwatosa Announces 9pm Curfew
The curfew is in effect June 1, 2020 beginning at 9:00 pm and ending at 7:00 am on June 2, 2020.
The City of Wauwatosa is extending the curfew put in place on May 30 and 31. The curfew will continue tonight, beginning at 9:00 p.m. and ending at 7:00 a.m. on June 2, 2020. Government officials, people going to and from work, and members of the press are exempted from the order.
Wauwatosa recognizes the importance of peaceful protests and their role in moving society forward. We must balance this with our duty to protect our community’s lives and property.
Over the past few nights, the Wauwatosa Police Department has observed multiple incidents of large numbers of vehicles driving recklessly throughout the city and endangering public safety late at night and into the early morning. Groups of up to 100 vehicles have been traveling at high rates of speed, sometimes without lights on, and driving into oncoming vehicular traffic. Based on this pattern of reckless and dangerous driving, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber has requested that Wauwatosa’s curfew be extended for an additional night.
In addition to the dangerous driving, there were two incidents of vandalism of area businesses on Saturday, May 30.
“The Wauwatosa Police Department has done a commendable job ensuring that people and property in Wauwatosa are protected,” said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride. “We have had only two incidents of property damage to date. Nevertheless, we are seeing an increase in reckless driving and other behavior which, we believe, puts Wauwatosa residents at risk. We are extending the curfew another night and asking residents to comply with this law for their safety, in the hope that we can return to safer conditions that won’t require a curfew. In the meantime, peaceful protests may continue during the daylight hours, and we can engage in the dialogue needed to move the greater Milwaukee community forward.”
Statement from Mayor Dennis McBride (May 31, 12:30 pm)
This is a difficult time for all of us. Wauwatosa and metropolitan Milwaukee are not islands and, along with all Americans, we have suffered from the agony of the coronavirus pandemic and the inexcusable slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as from the political polarization that interferes with our ability to help each other heal from these tragedies.
Last night, along with mayors of several other local communities, I declared a curfew to bring peace during our community’s hours of rest. As city officials, it is our duty to protect the lives and property of people of all races in our communities. The curfews are consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment as allowing reasonable restrictions on the "time, place, and manner" of protests.
Wauwatosa’s curfew was largely successful. Last night, we experienced a few minor incidents. Windows were broken at a nail salon at 72nd Street and North Avenue and at the Sendik’s Food Market at 86th Street and North Avenue. At one point, approximately 40 cars were traveling at high rates of speed in a reckless manner on Mayfair Road and North Avenue. To quell this problem, Wauwatosa police deployed tire deflation tools known as "stop sticks." That stopped the reckless driving and the police issued citations to a couple of drivers and towed two cars. The other vehicles then drove away in a responsible manner and the police reported no further problems. They believe the curfew helped deter other irresponsible behavior.
Like most Americans, I am grief-stricken about the death of Mr. Floyd and the continuing inequities suffered by people of color. I have dedicated my legal and civic career to advocating for the rights of all people to justice and equality. We need to have meaningful dialogue to spark change in our communities and the City of Wauwatosa will always protect the rights of citizens to free speech and to protest peacefully. Our temporary curfew, which will be in place again tonight, is meant to increase safety for demonstrators, law enforcement, and all of Wauwatosa. I urge everyone to stay home during the curfew and to stay safe.