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Detroit mayor announces end to curfew during protests

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DETROIT – Detroit officials are ending a curfew aimed at curtailing violence and unrest during protests over police brutality against African Americans after the death of George Floyd.

The 8 p.m. curfew went into effect May 31 but had not been enforced over the past three nights, Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters Monday.

Duggan previously had praised the city for avoiding the levels of violence that some other places in the U.S. have experienced following Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis. Floyd died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after the handcuffed black man stopped moving and pleading for air.

Peaceful protests elsewhere have been interrupted by groups and individuals bent on violent confrontations with police. Others have taken the opportunity to start fires and break into stores to steal.

Duggan said that some people who hurled rocks and railroad spikes at Detroit police officers “haven’t been seen in five or six days.”

“We know full well they were people who had no stake in the city,” Duggan said. “We’re feeling confident now that what we have is protests going on by people from this community who care about this community. I feel, at least right now, very good about where we are. We’re going to remain vigilant.”

Duggan and police Chief James Craig have credited city residents and activists with backing police officers to prevent damage and theft.

From May 29 through Sunday, 421 adults and three juveniles were arrested in Detroit. Only 136 lived in the city, Craig said.

No protesters have been arrested since Tuesday, he added.