Lincoln, Nebraska (KFOR) – Governor Pete Ricketts joined Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Omaha Mayor Mayor Jean Stothert at a press conference to address the public regarding the second day of protesting that took place Saturday night into Sunday morning. The Mayor noted that the protests which began peaceful escalated to vandalism, destruction, and violence a situation that saddened her to observe. The Mayor assessed that the situation of civil unrest and disobedience will require extraordinary measures to correct. The Mayor read an executive order that she is issuing for the City of Omaha declaring a state of emergency staring this evening at 8pm and lasting for 72 hours. A curfew will also be imposed beginning at 8pm this evening, Sunday May 31st. Gatherings in excess of 25 people are not allowed in a public space after that time. Violation of the emergency orders are a criminal offense punishable by a fine or alternate penalty.
Governor Ricketts spoke directly to peaceful protesters, acknowledging that their concerns are legitimate and that trust needs to continue to be built with law enforcement locally. He went on to assess that the escalation of these protests to violence is putting citizens in danger. Ricketts stated that he has taken the action to mobilize the National Guard to assist law enforcement to restore peace and calm throughout the state specifically in the city of Omaha.
Ricketts thanked law enforcement for their efforts as well as volunteer efforts of the public to clean up damage and aftermath of the protests.