Northfield Mayor Pownell Declares Local State of Emergency and Curfew

For the safety and protection of life and property

Northfield Mayor Rhonda Pownell signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency and curfew starting 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

“I applaud all those that want to safely and peacefully protest the tragic death of George Floyd; however, we cannot control those who may take advantage of the situation and damage property or endanger the safety of our community as has happened in neighboring cities. It is out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of all of our community members that this curfew declaration is put in place,” said Mayor Pownell.

Dakota County and other greater Twin City areas have experienced continuous nights of civil disobedience, including damaged and burglarized property, since George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. 

A nighttime curfew for all public places within the City of Northfield, including streets, will start at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31 until 6:00 a.m. Monday, June 1. The City Administrator in consultation with the Police Chief may extend the curfew for hours stated above for the evenings of June 2 and June 3, 2020, if necessary.

“We’ve heard concerns from many of our business and community members regarding the possibility of violence and/or property damage. There are not any new, imminent threats to the Northfield community, but we believe the curfew is an important tool to help provide for the safety and security of our community,” said Police Chief Monte Nelson.

During the hours of the curfew, all persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place.  All law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and members of the news media, as well as other personnel authorized by County, City, State, or Federal jurisdictions are exempt from the curfew. Individuals seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, experiencing homelessness, and travelling directly to and from employment or a religious service are also exempt.

A violation of this emergency declaration is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, pursuant to Minn. Stat. Sec. 12.45.