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As Cleveland Lifts Daytime Curfew, Streets Remain Empty, But for How Long?

photo of Progressive Field SWAT team
Although the streets in downtown Cleveland are mostly empty, a SWAT team has been placed near Progressive Field. The central business district has been under a curfew for most of the time since Saturday's protests.

Businesses in Downtown Cleveland opened today for the first time since last weekend’s protests over the killing of George Floyd. The city has imposed curfews since Saturday.

Deon Sankey was outside, taking a break from cleaning up at the bar where he works near Progressive Field. He says there will likely be more peaceful protests. And he says people need to understand the difference between a protest and a riot.

“Protest is when you stand up for what you believe in, in peace. A riot is destruction. Whenever I hear that word ‘riot’ I think of destruction. And I think a lot of people took advantage of that so they could loot, steal, and destroy. And for what? That’s what I believe.”


Eugene Platts is a lifelong Clevelander.  He also supports the peaceful protests, and agrees there are likely to be more.

Platts on protesters

“If there’s such a thing as the greater good, it’s in those protesters.  And I do believe it’s impacting people across the nation.”

The streets from Ohio City to Cleveland State are still largely empty of cars and people. A SWAT team has been placed on the plaza between Progressive Field and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.