Sights and Sounds: Protestors leave City Hall peacefully on first night of indefinite curfew

Watch (viewer discretion advised): Sights and sounds of protestors vacating City Hall and Wilmington Police sweeping the surrounding area.

WILMINGTON — Hours after city and county leaders held a press conference in a large courtroom overlooking Third Street a crowd of over 100 people peacefully vacated the steps of City Hall within minutes after the 9 p.m. countywide curfew went into effect. That’s in contrast to Sunday, when New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office deputies clashed with protestors, firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Various protestors led efforts to disperse the crowd peacefully as New Hanover Sheriff’s deputies used loudspeakers to tell protestors that if that did not do so they would be subject to arrest, riot control agents, or ‘less-lethal’ munitions. The curfew was announced by Mayor Bill Saffo, District Attorney Ben David, and New Hanover County Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman at the 3 p.m. press conference.


RELATED: Indefinite curfew imposed in Wilmington and New Hanover County begins at 9 p.m. Tuesday

This was the fourth consecutive day of protests, and the third at night. The first night, on Sunday, ended in chaos with Sheriff’s deputies in riot gear firing tear gas and stun grenades — and according to some protestors, rubber bullets — at groups of people scattered throughout downtown Wilmington.

A group of men was able to resolve a potentially escalating situation when they held back a protestor shouting at police. A WPD line then formed near Third Street beside City Hall and moved through several blocks surrounding the building.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled other areas of downtown Wilmington on bicycles as Sheriff Ed McMahon urged protestors to leave the area.

WPD Interim Chief Donny Williams said he was surprised to see the protestors disperse without incident.

“I’m just real proud of how things are going in our community, and we’re not in flames or …” Williams said, walking away as his officers prepared for a debrief.

WPD confirmed that there were no incidents Tuesday night following that debrief.

View pictures of the night below:

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Above: Use the arrows to compare images of City Hall at 8:59 p.m. and 9:04 p.m.

A New Hanover Sheriff’s deputy says on a radio, “Alright, we’re in place,” three minutes before the 9 a.m. curfew went into effect. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers stand on the corner of Third and Princess Street as protestors begin to leave City Hall minutes before the 9 p.m. curfew goes into effect. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors at City Hall, 8:58 p.m. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors at City Hall, 8:58 p.m. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors leave City Hall as the 9 p.m. countywide curfew goes into effect. Forty seconds later, a New Hanover Sheriff deputy commanded from a loudspeaker for all remaining protestors to disperse or would be subject to arrest or riot control agents or 'less-lethal' munitions. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors leave City Hall as the 9 p.m. countywide curfew goes into effect. Less than a minute later, a New Hanover Sheriff deputy commanded from a loudspeaker all remaining protestors to disperse or they would be subject to arrest, riot control agents, or ‘less-lethal’ munitions. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors on the front steps of City Hall Tuesday night, 9:00 p.m. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors begin to disperse the front steps of City Hall at 9:00 p.m. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors hold up signs before leaving the front steps of City Hall at 9:00 p.m. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Protestors load water bottles into a truck on Third Street near City Hall. On Sunday, water bottles were placed throughout the streets of downtown Wilmington for protestors to rinse their eyes after exposure to tear gas. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
New Hanover Sheriff Ed McMahon knocks fists with a protestor while asking him to vacate the area. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
New Hanover Sheriff Ed McMahon walks down Third Street while urging protestors to leave the area. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A protestor yells at police officers while being held back by a man who had tried to calm angry protestors Sunday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A man present during Sunday night’s protest consoles a young man who had been yelling at police officers after being told to leave the area or face arrest, riot control agents, or ‘less-lethal’ munitions. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lily Nicole, who has been seen by many as a major reason why protestors were able to reach a compromise with Wilmington Police officers during Sunday night’s chaotic protests, talks with reporters from WECT. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers equipped with riot control gear line the intersection of Fourth and Chestnut Street while ensuring the streets surrounding City Hall in downtown Wilmington are void of protestors. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers equipped with riot control gear line the intersection of Fourth and Chestnut Street while ensuring the streets surrounding City Hall in downtown Wilmington are void of protestors. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers form a riot control line at the intersection of of Fourth and Chestnut Street Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers march down Chestnut Street Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A law enforcement search helicopter circles around the streets surrounding City Hall on Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A law enforcement search helicopter circles around the streets surrounding City Hall on Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers set down their shields at 9:27 p.m. Tuesday night, near the end of the their sweep of downtown streets to ensure protestors were not in violation of the 9 p.m. curfew. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington Police officers march down Chestnut Street on Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
New Hanover Sheriff’s deputies ride down Third Street (named Maj Gen Joseph McNeil at this section) while ensuring protestors were not violating the 9 p.m. curfew. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Captain Kelvin Hargrove congratulates WPD officers after a successful sweep of the streets surrounding City Hall Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Captain Kelvin Hargrove congratulates WPD officers after a successful sweep of the streets surrounding City Hall Tuesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
WPD Sergeant Craig Melville before a debriefing with his team in downtown Wilmington Tuesday night. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

Send tips and comments to the reporter at Mark@Localvoicemedia.com, @markdarrough on Twitter, or (970) 413-3815

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