RELATED: Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer declares State of Emergency, issues curfew
Following two nights of protests in downtown Asheville, including the June 1 escalation that resulted in unrest and destruction of property downtown, the City of Asheville has a curfew of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., in place until further notice. The intent of the curfew is not prevent individuals from accessing necessary goods and services, but to ensure safety during the State of Emergency.
Here are answers to questions our residents may have about the curfew and information surrounding events happening in our community at this time.
Question: What is a curfew?
Answer: The curfew prohibits anyone within the City of Asheville, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., from gathering or demonstrating on any public street, sidewalk, or public property. It also prohibits travel upon any public street unless it is for the purpose of seeking medical care, food, or other necessities for yourself or a family member. The curfew does not apply to those working at businesses providing necessary goods and services, or to members of law enforcement, medical providers, first responders, or transit operators and riders.
Q: Why is the City of Asheville instituting a curfew?
A: Although City officials and staff have expressed their support for the message being offered by protestors, and a majority of those participating are doing so peacefully, certain participants of the demonstrations have resorted to violence and destruction of property. In order to protect the protestors, other members of the community, and private and public property, this curfew will be used to restrict certain activities during those times when the public welfare has been most in danger.
Q: Where does the curfew apply?
A: The curfew applies everywhere within the City of Asheville.
Q: What are the hours of the curfew?
A: The curfew begins at 8 p.m. and ends each day at 6 a.m.
Q: How will the curfew be enforced?
A: Local law enforcement officers, as well as any law enforcement agency assisting local police, will enforce the curfew.
Q: What is the penalty for violating the curfew?
A: Violation of the curfew is punishable as a class 2 misdemeanor and will result in arrest.
Q: Why isn’t the City allowing for non-violent protest?
A: The City of Asheville recognizes people’s First Amendment rights to peacefully protest and gather. Those assemblies are still permitted during the hours of 6 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. so long as they remain peaceful and do not threaten the safety and wellbeing of the community and property. These activities have primarily taken place during later hours, and the curfew is designed to prevent this.
Q: When will the curfew be lifted?
A: The curfew will be lifted as soon as City officials declare it no longer necessary.
Q: Does my business have to close after curfew?
A: All businesses are permitted to remain open during the nightly curfew if they choose to do so, and employees are permitted to travel directly to and from their place of work. However, members of the public will only be permitted to travel to and from these businesses in order to obtain a necessary good or service. Necessary goods or services include: health care services and products, food, and fuel. Essential government services such as law enforcement and transit will continue operations.
Q. Can I travel to and from work?
A: Yes, if your business or place of work is open, you can travel to and from work. Unnecessary additional travel or lingering in public space is prohibited.
Q: I’m scheduled to work during the curfew. Can I still travel to work? Can my employees still report to work during the curfew?
A: Yes, people are allowed to travel to and from work during the curfew if they are employed at a business that provides a necessary good or service such as those listed above.
Q: Will the buses be running after the curfew?
A: Yes, transit operations will continue.
Q: What if I have an emergency and need to leave my house during curfew hours?
A: Anyone may leave their residence in the case of an emergency, and may seek whatever aid or assistance is necessary to assist them with the emergency.
Q: I had property damage during the June 1 protest. How do I report it?
A: Please report any damage to the Asheville Police Department online through the recently launched Police to Citizen tool, or by calling the non-emergency number at 828-252-1110.
Q: I am experiencing homelessness and don’t have a place to go inside. How does the curfew apply to me?
A: People experiencing homelessness are not impacted by the curfew.
Q: Does the curfew apply to news media?
A: Members of the news media are excluded from the curfew.
Updated 6/2/20 5:45pm