Also, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced a citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Saturday night.
Anyone out in the streets or in public places can be arrested. He said the curfew will remain in effect until canceled.
“This curfew is not intended to stifle peaceful protest but to protect our people,” Ginther said.
The mayor’s office provided the following exemptions from the curfew:
- Law enforcement, fire and medical personnel
- Members of the news media
- Individuals traveling directly to and from work
- Individuals seeking care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness
DeWine said there is a small but violent group of people who pose a threat to law enforcement and the safety of citizens in Columbus.
“The majority of demonstrators want to be heard. They want to focus attention on the tragic death of George Floyd and on other injustices. We always welcome such voices,” he said. “But the voices calling for justice and change are being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals that threatens the safety of the citizens of our community. Acts of violence will not be accepted nor tolerated. This violence must stop.”
He said the activation of the Ohio National Guard is to drive out hate and violence and install order.
“It’s about protecting from unnecessary destruction the small businesses that our fellow Ohioans have worked so hard to create. It is also about protecting the First Amendment and creating the environment for peaceful protests — so that people can be heard,” DeWine said.
Additionally, DeWine said he has ordered the Ohio State Highway Patrol to assist the city’s police.
Prior to the governor’s announcement, the Columbus Division of Police issued an emergency downtown and asked the public to stay away from the area.
In a message shared on social media, Columbus Police said officers are working hard to make sure that violence and destruction is not “overshadowing voices of protestors.”
According to CPD, 59 people were arrested Saturday.
CPD made 59 arrests today.
City curfew in effect from 10pm-6am until @MayorGinther rescinds it.
Our officers are working hard to make sure violence/damage to people & businesses/landmarks is not overshadowing voices of protestors.
Our city has had enough. pic.twitter.com/B7c3pkgBBV
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) May 31, 2020