A heavy police presence was visible in Anoka County after the 8 p.m. curfew Saturday, May 30, but ongoing civil unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul didn’t appear to spill over as it had earlier in the week.

During a two-hour drive ranging from downtown Anoka to Columbia Heights’ border with Minneapolis, ABC Newspapers managing editor Jonathan Young and reporter Paige Kieffer observed police out in large numbers enforcing a countywide curfew and guarding businesses.

There didn’t appear to be any large gatherings or other suspicious activity along the reporters’ route, which followed Coon Rapids Boulevard from Anoka to Northtown Mall before heading down University Avenue and then cutting over to Central Avenue and going south to the Minneapolis border.

Northtown Mall had an especially visible police presence, and parking lot entrances were blocked off. The mall sustained minor damage Thursday, May 28, after protesters gathered there and looters broke into Burlington Coat Factory, according to Blaine police.

The evening of May 30 Blaine officers were actively pulling over vehicles near the mall, including the ABC Newspapers team. Reporters on the job are exempt from the countywide curfew.

Several businesses at the mall were boarded up, as was the Target at nearby Springbrook Mall, where a police car was stationed outside.

Further south in the county, more businesses were boarded up.

Police officers along Central Avenue in Columbia Heights appeared to be aggressively enforcing the county's curfew by pulling over motorists who were on the road late in the evening.

Anoka County instituted a curfew Friday, May 29, after Anoka County Board Chair Scott Schulte declared a local state of emergency due to “an unprecedented amount of civil disturbance in the Twin Cities Metro Area following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis Police.”

The following curfews were set:

• 8 p.m. Friday, May 29 to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 30.

• 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30, to 6 a.m. Sunday, May 31.

• 8 p.m. May 31 to 3 a.m. Monday, June 1.

jonathan.young@apgecm.com

 

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