The citywide curfew implemented over the weekend was lifted Monday after a quiet Sunday evening with a large police presence throughout Duluth.
During a news conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Emily Larson credited Sunday night's quiet to the Duluth Police Department and other organizations that "stepped up in a very big way." She cited the Duluth Branch of the NAACP for providing a free space where people ages 13-18 could participate in an online group conversation during the early hours of the curfew Sunday. The free space will be available again Monday from 8:30-11 p.m. on the Duluth Branch NAACP Facebook page via a Zoom chat.
"They were one of a few specific organizations which forged community with our youth to ensure they were home and safe," Larson said. "Many people who were out on Saturday night were young people who are clearly experiencing pain and trauma and hurt at a time where they're already feeling lost and disconnected due to the pandemic.
"This space is a chance for young people to know that they are seen and valued and heard and respected by the community," she said.
Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken also focused on the importance of community policing during the curfew. He called in all the officers on patrol Sunday evening for a meeting in the early afternoon where he asked them to focus on engaging in the community and to be present as a safety and security measure.
"We had officers out on the streets at 3 p.m. We didn't expect any problems at 3 p.m., but we wanted to take the opportunity to be out on every street corner in this community, to be present, to stop and talk and have conversations and answer questions," Tusken said.
Tusken said the department did see a greater number of service calls on Sunday. Typically on a June day, the department sees about 300 service calls a day, but had 394 calls for service Sunday.
Throughout the day, there were seven arrests: six adults and one juvenile. Officers wrote 15 citations, three of which were violations of the curfew order. Overall, Tusken said the compliance with the curfew Sunday was "amazing."
"It really helped us ensure and maintain public safety," he said.
The Duluth Fire Department also responded throughout the night to three dumpster fire calls, which were quickly extinguished.
Despite the absence of a curfew order, Tusken said there would still be a "substantial police presence" on Monday night in order to "hope for the best and prepare for the worst."
Tusken also gave an update on the assault on the Kwik Trip employee that occurred Saturday night on 27th Avenue West. One suspect in the assault has been arrested, The News Tribune generally does not name suspects until they are formally charged.
Police are still looking to identify two other suspects. Tusken said. authorities might need the public's help in identifying the two individuals and may release a video looking for further information.