Protests turned violent on Saturday after protesters broke into Reno City Hall. Reno Gazette Journal
On Saturday evening, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve issued a curfew for the city, followed by a countywide curfew for Washoe by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak through Sunday at 7 a.m. The declarations were made following unrest in downtown Reno when protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent. What do the orders mean?
Section 8.34 of the Reno Administrative Code allows the city to establish curfews which prohibit or limit gatherings on public streets or any outdoor place. The city also has the ability to barricade roads, prohibit the sale of gasoline in portable containers, and supsend the sale of alcohol, firearms and ammunition.
Chapter 414 of the Nevada Revised Statutes spells out emergency management powers for the governor in the event of emergencies or disasters. Specifically, NRS 414.060 allows the governor to coordinate with federal officials and the armed forces to control “the conduct of the general public and movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic during, before and after exercises or an emergency or disaster” — in other words, the ability to order the public to vacate the streets, and with the backing of armed forces (i.e., the Nevada National Guard) if necessary.
Per Washoe County Code 50.038, anyone who refuses to disperse during a civil emergency can be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to jail for up to 6 months. Violators may also be sentenced to community service.
Brett McGinness is the engagement editor for the Reno Gazette Journal. He’s also the writer of The Reno Memo — a free newsletter about news in the Biggest Little City. Subscribe to the newsletter right here. Consider supporting the Reno Gazette Journal, too.
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