DULUTH, MN – City leaders on Sunday morning addressed overnight events that occurred following a day of peaceful protest in Duluth.
The height of the events occurred at the Kwik Trip in Lincoln Park where an employee of the convenience store and several officers were assaulted, Chief Mike Tusken said.
Police gave dispersal orders twice but said there was no voluntary compliance. Shortly before 1 a.m. police deployed tear gas to break up the crowd.
Over the course of the night, police arrested seven adults and four juveniles. All were local, Tusken said, except for one person who was from Minneapolis.
Tusken said police received eight damage to property reports, including the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial in downtown Duluth which was vandalized.
The Parks Department was expected to be on site Sunday to professionally clean the memorial, Mayor Emily Larson said.
Police also responded to 18 disturbance calls across the city. Police and firefighters also responded to a car that was set on fire in a lot along Central Entrance.
Responding to the various events were 100 officers from Duluth and Superior Police and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Tusken said. During a typical shift, DPD has about 18 to 20 officers on duty.
“We wanted to have enough people present to be safe, not just for us, but for the people we were intervening with,” Tusken said.
Earlier Saturday evening, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson imposed a 10 p.m. curfew. Larson said the decision was made over the course of the day.
“It was important not to fan flame of fear. We made the decision in the evening and made it with intention. This community abided by the curfew.”
The curfew was also in place for Sunday starting at 9 p.m. Beyond that, the mayor would need City Council approval.
Tusken put an all call to staff to have maximum staffing for Sunday night.
“I want a significant presence, so people feel safe and well,” Tusken said. "Hopefully we will have a peaceful night."
The protests in Duluth over the death of George Floyd earlier in the day were peaceful, Mayor Larson acknowledged. Protesters marched from the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial to Duluth City Hall.
"I want to thank the 1000+ people who came out yesterday, who made the fear and sense of injustice known, who marched in the streets of Duluth, who were loud and fierce in passion. We are receiving that message loud and clear, and I share in your anger and injustice."