In an open letter, Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith addresses ‘extreme measure’ prompting Monday curfew

Mayor Nicola Smith

In a letter addressed to the Lynnwood community, Mayor Nicola Smith explained her decision to issue an emergency order prompting a 5 p.m. Monday night.

According to Smith, the curfew was determined to be the appropriate measure in response to tips from community members and business owners about possible plans to loot and cause property damage to Alderwood Mall property and surrounding businesses.

“Although the emergency civil order and the curfew may have seemed an extreme measure, the health and safety of our community members, and the livelihood of our Lynnwood business owners is of utmost importance to me,” she said.

Smith added that the order was put in place to dissuade large groups of people who reportedly gathered near the mall Monday from returning and potentially participating in civil unrest.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

Dear Lynnwood Community Members,

Yesterday I implemented an emergency civil order and a 5 p.m. curfew for the safety of our Lynnwood community. Our Lynnwood Police Department became aware of credible threats made via social media and other sources concerning the Alderwood Mall. The threats were inciting looting, rioting, and property damage aimed at our Lynnwood businesses, which have already been severely impacted by COVID-19 closures.

Our Lynnwood Police Department took the proactive approach to ward off potential looting and rioting by closing off the Alderwood Mall property, closing roads entering the property, and actively patrolling other city businesses. What we saw happen in the late afternoon and into the evening was over a hundred individuals entering our city and our retail center, roaming around in groups of 10-15, attempting to gain accessing into closed businesses.

Let me be clear, these were not protesters exercising their rights to speak out against the injustice of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. They were individuals bent on causing damage and destruction in our city.

We all have watched was has happened in Seattle, Bellevue and Southcenter as well as surrounding businesses. Many businesses have been looted and vandalized under the guise of protesting. Yesterday we heard reports of many other cities being targets of coordinated looting as well.

Although the emergency civil order and the curfew may have seemed an extreme measure, the health and safety of our community members, and the livelihood of our Lynnwood business owners is of utmost importance to me.

The curfew was determined as an appropriate measure in tandem with our police command post and was designed to prevent these large groups from returning, especially at night, to cause damage. Community members were still able to travel safely through the city to go home and/or to work.

Please know that those protesting for justice and peace, are not the same individuals committing crimes and looting. I ask you all to please not let the actions of the looters detract from the messages and feelings of the protesters who peacefully and rightfully stand against injustice.

Collectively we are mourning George Floyd’s untimely death, and we send our deepest condolences to his friends, family, and the community at-large who have been deeply impacted by this incident. Although this particular event occurred thousands of miles from here, other recent events throughout our nation are shining a spotlight on the fact that racial hatred, bigotry and bias are still prevalent in our communities.

Our communities are hurting. I want to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that Lynnwood is a safe and welcoming city for all people.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

Sincerely,

Nicola Smith
Mayor

  1. Thank you Mayor Smith and community leaders and Lynnwood Police Department for looking out for our city and property.

  2. Not just an extreme measure, but a measure that exhibited only the most reflexive and least incisive thought process. A targeted strategic response, which is essentially what wound up happening, would have simply been closing off the mall and surrounding business area with enhanced patrolling and an announcement or “proclamation” with regard to assembly in those specific areas.

    “Community members were still able to travel safely through the city to go home and/or to work.” Really, but an individual or family going for a walk in their neighborhood or in one of our parks too threatening? Pure nonsense and overreaction.

    The mayor claims “…over a hundred individuals entering our city and our retail center, roaming around in groups of 10-15, attempting to gain accessing into closed businesses.” Perhaps I missed the news or published evidence of this. Is there any? What form did these attempts to gain access take, and how could it have still happened despite enhanced patrolling and police closing off the entire area???

    What actions were taken against these curfew violators? Were any arrests made in this regard, or in response to their attempts to gain access to closed businesses? Or by “attempts to gain access” were these nefarious interlopers merely innocent folks come to shop and peering in windows, unaware of any curfew and caught by surprise that business was closed? It’s still a bit of a riddle since the entire area was closed off.

    I’d be curious to see proof of the would-be looters, even though it still wouldn’t validate her over-broad city-wide curfew, as she’s trying to claim.

  3. Too bad Seattle wasn’t more proactive in stopping the looting! All the past years of May Day riots where the masked, blackshirted hoodlems were allowed to destroy and loot was condoned should have been a wakeup call for what’s going on now…

  4. Why don’t we ever hear on the NEWS about what was going on in Lynnwood and the Mall? I feel that the LPD and the State Patrol did a fantastic Job. Thankyou to all.

  5. You are doing the right thing, Mayor. Though we live in Edmonds, we applaud you for taking a stand and protecting the community who elected you. Peaceful protests are part of our democracy. Rioting, stealing, vandalism and killing innocent people are not part of our democracy. It is refreshing to see a politician who understands the difference and is not a victim of the mob mentality. We encourage you to remain strong and hold your convictions.

  6. Mayor Smith, Lynnwood Police Departemment and Community Leaders:

    Our sincere thank you for your diligent, great and brave cautious care about all Lynnwood residents, homeowners and business owners. We feel with your care and protection of us safe and secured.

    Valerie Williams
    Unincorporated Snohomish County Homeowner and Lynnwood resident

  7. The result of the the mayor’s ridiculous “The looters are coming! The looters are coming!” CITY-WIDE CURFEW and the gratitude from her pathetically fat and happy complacent supporters:

    “two juveniles were reportedly arrested after one told officers he was “just here for the looting,” and the other was discovered to have a sledgehammer, spray paint, heavy gloves, goggles and a mask in his backpack. Both juveniles were released from the scene.”

    Priceless, could have been right out of The Onion.

  8. Hard to know if Lynnwood got out in front and stopped a plan by hundreds to loot or they fell for a social media hoax. Similar online traffic was ignored by Tukwila and Southcenter got looted, same can be said of Bellevue. If Lynnwood had of done nothing and dozens of places were destroyed there would be calls for the Mayor’s head for not doing enough.

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