After Concerns About ‘Civil Disturbances,’ Springfield Officials Ask Residents To Stay Home

Jun 1, 2020

Springfield city officials called for residents to stay home Sunday night around 8:30 p.m.

Police Chief Kenny Winslow said they made the decision after receiving information of potential “civil disturbances." He declined to elaborate on specifics.

City officials emphasized it was not a curfew, but a request.

The call comes as protests against police brutality in cities around the country have erupted into violence. Sunday afternoon, Gov. J.B. Pritzker authorized National Guard troops to be deployed to Chicago, which has been under a curfew.

“We have been monitoring different intelligence sources over the last few days,” Winslow said in an online news conference. “And we got some intelligence that caused us some concern.”

Attempts to steal merchandise at a Dick’s were reported. Other stores, including Wal-Mart and Target, closed their doors early. Officials say the closures were the individual business’ call.

Small groups of protestors gathered at the Capitol and outside city hall late in the evening. And the word “F---” was painted on the Springfield Police sign outside the Municipal Center East.

The department will continue to monitor the situation, and make the decision Monday of whether to ask residents to stay in again, Winslow said.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis set off days of demonstrations. Both Winslow and Mayor Jim Langelder condemned the killing.

“It will really test our not only our community's strength and resolve," Langfelder said. "We will get through these challenging times together."

Winslow said it’s unfortunate as the concerns followed a gathering of thousands of people in Springfield on Sunday afternoon for a solidarity procession.