West Chester imposes 30-day curfew during protest that turns out peaceful

Demonstrators take to West Chester to protest racial inequality

WEST CHESTER TWP. Ohio (FOX19) - West Chester trustees voted by emergency order to impose a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew for the next 30 days as a protest got underway in the township Tuesday night.

But, in the end, West Chester police wound up not having to use it when the event turned out peaceful.

The protest began at the West Chester Clock Tower near Union Centre Boulevard with protesters, including some from downtown Cincinnati, chanting “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

There were hugs, conversations and speakers asking local officers to be held accountable.

Several West Chester police officers knelt with the demonstrators.

The 10 p.m. curfew came and went without arrests or the curfew enforced.

Instead, police continued engaging with the protesters, speaking with them and listening to them.

Police Chief Joel Herzog participated in a moving group hug with them, praying for peace.

The protest “has been nothing but peaceful," Herzog said in an interview at the scene, describing the curfew as “a precautionary measure.”

Herzog said at that time officers most likely would not arrest peaceful demonstrators after curfew.

But if destruction occurred, officers would make arrests, he said.

The curfew could be lifted sooner than 30 days.

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