The city of Dallas has expanded its curfew zone to include the West Village and parts of West Dallas that include Trinity Groves. This means the curfew zone now includes most of the city’s central core as well as the parts of Riverfront where protesters congregated last night. The curfew will extend from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Businesses in the area are encouraged to close by 5 p.m.
If you live or work within the curfew area, you will be required to show proof of residency or work credentials if you need to travel in and out of the zone. If you live downtown and need to walk your dog, I’m sure that’s fine, though the city’s emergency curfew ordinance doesn’t specify. If you live downtown and would like to take a jog this evening, the city’s ordinance also doesn’t say explicitly whether or not that’s okay, but I’m thinking it’s probably not a good idea. Technically you are not allowed to “travel” in the designated area at all, and “travel” is defined in the ordinance as moving around by foot, bicycle, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or “any other mode of transporting a person from one location to another”– which I imagine includes horses, donkeys, hang gliders, and unicycles, but I’m not a lawyer. It definitely does include DART, though, so if you rely on the light rail trains — all of which are routed through the curfew zone — you’re screwed. But then, if you rely on DART, you were already screwed.
There is an exemption, however, if you are traveling to and from work. So if you work downtown I suppose you could go go jogging if your run takes you from your place of business to your residence. That said, I’m not sure I would recommend it. My assumption is that anyone running around downtown after 6 p.m. is likely to be pelted with
rubber bullets — oh, I’m sorry, I mean some other kind of non-lethal bullet that splits open people’s heads. There is also an exemption for media, however, I’m not taking my chances after KERA’s Hady Mawajdeh learned last night that this exemption may or may not protect you from having smoking canisters fired at your head.
Am I making light of the curfew? No, this curfew is deadly serious. But I do think it is absolutely pathetic and shameful. It demonstrates that our city’s leadership believes that the proper response to a protest over rampant police murder and the ongoing terrorism of communities of color by this country’s militarized police departments — a protest that, yes, did boil over and resulted in some destruction of property — warrants an even more hyper-militarized police response that targets people. A well-run, humane police department should be able to ensure that constitutionally protected protests stay safe without a curfew, or tear gas, or assault weapons. But then, that is not how our elected leaders manage or train our police officers to respond to these kinds of situations — which, of course, is kind of the whole point of the protests.