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Leon County curfew begins as grand jury trial for officer-involved-shooting wraps

Posted at 6:08 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:17:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County is hours from the start of a new curfew implemented days after a protest in Tallahassee ended with a fight and a gun.

That altercation is just one of the reasons the city is headed to an 11:00 p.m. curfew that will be in place for the next five days.

The grand jury is currently deliberating on a number of capital murder cases, including three officer-involved-shootings in the Capital City.

Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeill approached the County Commission about the curfew.

The proclamation states that as crowds grow in size it becomes harder for law enforcement to respond accordingly.

Along with violence from last week's demonstrations, LCSO says it knows the grand jury is seated and, should anything escalate from their decisions, it wants to make sure everyone is protected.

Leon County Commission chairman Brian Desloge says city and county leaders don't want Tallahassee's next demonstrations to end like last weekend's.

"Our reason was purely civil unrest," said Desloge. "I would be kidding you to say we didn't have discussions. There are other factors. Our reason is purely because of the civil unrest and the fear that gets escalated."

Desloge says a lot of people have criticized the curfew saying most protests are done before sunset.

He says the curfew makes sure things like the pop-up parties the city has recently dealt with aren't given the opportunity to grow.

This curfew is also coming ahead of the holiday weekend when more people are likely to be out. Desloge says the main goal is to keep everyone safe over the long weekend.

While this curfew lasts for less than a week the Commission chairman says it could stick around longer.

"I think we'll see how the weekend goes and then evaluate if we think it's appropriate," said Desloge. "It's a week at a time. if we get to this time next week and nothing has happened, I would imagine we wouldn't unless the sheriff feels otherwise. At this point, we're going to take it one day at a time and see."

The grand jury will most likely wrap up tomorrow.