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Ohio capital’s mayor lifts curfew as Floyd protests continue

Protesters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, June 6, 2020. People are protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died after he was restrained by Minneapolis police on May 25. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS and JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of Ohio’s capital city on Saturday rescinded his order for a continuing 10 p.m. curfew during ongoing protests that early on included vandalism, thefts and other disorder.

The decision by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther came as hundreds of people again thronged the Ohio Statehouse downtown, marching and chanting to protest police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

Similar demonstrations were held Saturday in multiple Ohio cities, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Miamisburg, Toledo and Yellow Springs. Thousands also protested in Washington, D.C.

Ginther’s announced came the day after a federal lawsuit was filed that challenged the order because acts of vandalism have largely dissipated. The lawsuit will be dismissed based on an agreement between the city and those who sued, Ginther said.

Ginther said he made the decision after consulting with City Attorney Zach Klein.

“I am pleased that in recent days there has been better communication and greater collaboration between police and protestors, demonstrations have been peaceful, and there have not been any significant acts of violence, vandalism or use of force by police,” the mayor said in a statement.

Many protesters complained of heavy-handed police tactics including the use of tear gas during Columbus protests. Last week, Klein created a process for people to submit allegations of police brutality.

Ginther put the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in place May 30 after vandalism and thefts from multiple businesses, including 28 windows smashed at the Ohio Statehouse.

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