Immediate 6 p.m. curfew in effect amidst Columbia protests
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — In a last minute press conference, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is instilling an immediate curfew as of 6 p.m. This is for the downtown and Vista areas of the city. The curfew will remain in effect through Monday, June 1.
This is in response to the protests which have turned violent outside of Columbia Police Department headquarters. CPD cars have been burned, and protesters are visibly showing anger against police.
Benjamin, CPD Chief Skip Holbrook and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott are telling protesters to go home immediately. Officials say there are outside people, not from Columbia, instigating the violence.
Lott says the people we are seeing now in violence are not the same protesters that were peaceful this morning at the State House. He adds deputies fired rubber bullets as they came under attack with rocks while attempting to rescue an injured person in the crowd.
Holbrook says four CPD officers have been hospitalized as a result of the protest.
“This group here is not going to be allowed to take over Columbia… They’re not going to destroy the city. We are not going to let that happen,” said Sheriff Lott.