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.