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Omaha City Council grants mayor ability to extend curfew; condemns officers involved in George Floyd killing

(WOWT)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 2:49 PM CDT
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Among its other business on Tuesday, the Omaha City Council passed two notable resolutions related to the previous days' protests.

The first condemned the "reckless actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved" in the death of George Floyd. The second granted Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert the ability to extend the city's state of emergency declaration for up to a week — if she chooses to do so.

On the death of George Floyd

, the council moved up discussion on its resolution on the death of George Floyd, opening up public comment a few minutes later.

Those initially coming to the podium shared their thoughts on the protests in Omaha during the past few days as well as their frustration at the lack of charges against the business owner who shot and killed James Scurlock during Saturday night's protests downtown.

Council Item No. 78, brought forth by Councilman Ben Gray, passed. It reads:

RES. 2020-0561 – Res. that, the Omaha City Council condemns the reckless actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved, and be it further resolved that, the Omaha City Council grieves with the family of George Floyd for their loss and joins with the family in its call for justice and peace following this incident.

Many giving public comment at the council meeting demanded justice for James Spurlock, the 22-year-old man shot and killed during Saturday night's protests in downtown Omaha.

"If we're going to meet for George Floyd meet for George Floyd in Minneapolis. Meet here, right now, for James Spurlock. Meet here today for James."

Commenters also called on the city do more.

"I just want to say that I hope this resolution is more than just words. I hope it's more than just something you know to appease the public. I hope it's action coming behind everything."

Many in attendance said this was the first council meeting they had attended, and that they were inspired to take action and become more involved.

Curfew can be extended

The other resolution before the council on Tuesday allowed for the mayor to extend her state of emergency proclamation "for a period of up to one week" if Mayor Jean Stothert deems it necessary. The text reads:

RES. 2020-0563 – Res. that, the City Council of the City of Omaha, pursuant to Omaha Municipal Code section 8-86, hereby approves an extension of a state of emergency declared by the Mayor through her proclamation on May 31, 2020, for a period of up to one week, with the Mayor having the authority to end the state of emergency if she determines that conditions in the City of Omaha no longer warrant it.

That resolution passed, 5-1, with Councilman Jerram voting "no," and Councilman Gray not present for the vote.

Omaha has been under a curfew order from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. since Sunday. Some surrounding communities and Lincoln also issued curfews during one or more of these days as well.

Unless further curfews are ordered, the last of Omaha's curfews ends at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

LIVE: Public comment at Omaha City Council

The City Council has moved up Item No. 78 on its agenda about the death of George Floyd. That item reads: "RES. 2020-0561 – Res. that, the Omaha City Council condemns the reckless actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved, and be it further resolved that, the Omaha City Council grieves with the family of George Floyd for their loss and joins with the family in its call for justice and peace following this incident."

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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