Malvern mayor sets curfew

City of Malvern Mayor Brenda J. Weldon
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

Due to the concern of several violent issues of riots, looting and threats of vandalism across the country and in Arkansas following the devastating death of George Floyd, Malvern Mayor Brenda J. Weldon has issued a temporary curfew beginning at 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in effect for the city of Malvern.
Until further notice, the city of Malvern is under a temporary curfew. Weldon said there are exemptions to this curfew including individuals traveling directly to and from work; attending religious services; commercial trucking and delivery services; obtaining food; caring for a family member, friend, or animal; patronizing or operating private businesses; seeking medical care or fleeing dangerous circumstances; and travel for any of the above services.
The curfew has been in place for the safety to protect the wellbeing of all residents during this difficult time in society, she said.
Weldon has issued a statement regarding the effects of Floyd’s death to inform the public about any concerned situations that could harm or affect the city in any way or fashion.
In her statement, she made clarification to responses for enforcing the curfew from the city of curfew from the city of Malvern’s Facebook page.
“This country, and I included, are devastated and heartbroken by the death of George Floyd. We all mourn for his family and can only imagine the pain they are going through. The First Amendment affords all people the right to peacefully protest this injustice and to bring about change. The city of Malvern and my administration stand in solidarity with this purpose and encourage everyone’s voice to be heard,” Weldon stated.
She added, “The city of Malvern received word yesterday (Monday) that a protest was being planned to occur inside our city. I spoke with the chief of police and conveyed my support and offered the city’s support and locations to potentially host this protest. However, late into the evening, the city received word that another organization was planning to potentially riot, loot, and cause damage to our local businesses, while my administration and I support peaceful protest, we cannot and will not support the violence, theft, and destruction of property.”
“Therefore, a preemptive action was taken to protect the citizens and businesses of Malvern and a curfew was issued. The mention of COVID-19 in our curfew statement was intended to reference the ongoing, and very real danger of large public gatherings. Any suggestion that COVID-19 was cited as an attempt to silence the Constitutionally protected right to free speech could not be further from the truth.”
Weldon mentioned, “The city of Malvern and my administration are offering our support to any organization who wishes to peacefully protest this injustice we all witnessed, and we will walk and stand beside you, so your message can be heard.”
She finished by stating, “George Floyd’s life mattered, and we all have to work together to bring about positive change, so we can join in peaceful, non-violent protest, action, and prayer to cure all forms of racism. Every change has a starting point, let this change begin today.”