Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Mayor issues 9 p.m. curfew in Harrisburg, urges people to stay home

Protesters mounted the stairs to the PA Capitol during today’s second protest there, stopped at the entrance by police in riot gear.

Harrisburg has issued a 9 p.m. curfew for tonight following a day of rallies and marches to protest the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse issued the curfew order and urged people to stay home tonight after protests earlier today that sometimes led to conflicts with police.

The rally began at around noon at the Capitol, where upwards of 1,000 people gathered to protest Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minn., and to call for racial justice. Similar rallies were held in cities throughout the country.

In Harrisburg, many protesters departed following the passionate, yet peaceful, rally. However, others began to march throughout downtown. At Front and Forster streets, several protesters clashed with police, who had set up a blockade at the intersection.

Water bottles, rocks and other projectiles were thrown at state and Capitol police dressed in riot gear, and some police responded with pepper spray and rubber bullets. Two injured Capitol police were taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries.

After this incident, police blocked access into Harrisburg from the Harvey Taylor and Market Street bridges.

About 100 remaining marchers then continued up Forster Street before rallying again at the Capitol in late afternoon. They then pushed their way up the steps of the Capitol, which was blocked by city and state police.

At about 5:30 p.m., the remaining protesters suddenly left the Capitol and resumed marching in the downtown area. The remnants of that group were met with increasing numbers of state police, who blocked off several downtown streets.

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