- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2020

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum declared a civil emergency Thursday ahead of the city hosting President Trump’s first reelection campaign rally in more than three months this weekend.

Mr. Bynum, a Republican, issued an executive order declaring the emergency and imposing a curfew for the area surrounding the arena where the rally is slated to be held Saturday.

Crowds in excess of 100,000 people are expected in the vicinity of the rally Saturday, as are public protests capable of potentially turning violent, Mr. Bynum’s order noted.



“I have received information from the Tulsa Police Department and other law enforcement agencies that shows that individuals from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other states are planning to travel to the city of Tulsa for purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally,” his order says in part.

Authorities are accordingly limiting access to parts of Tulsa near the BOK Center, the indoor arena where Mr. Trump’s rally will be held, according to the mayor’s emergency order.

The curfew took effect Thursday evening and will remain in place until Saturday morning, the mayor ordered. It will go back into place once the rally ends and will be lifted again Sunday at 6 a.m.

“We understand that many people are unaware that a curfew will be in place and barricades are still in the process of being setup. If we find anyone in violation of the Executive Order this evening, we will request that they leave the area based on the curfew,” the Tulsa Police Department said on Twitter.

“If people refuse to leave the area, they may be cited or arrested. This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens,” the department tweeted.

The rally is set to be Mr. Trump’s first since the novel coronavirus outbreak forced him off the campaign trail in early March. It will also be the first since the racially charged killing last month of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests that in some cities descended into riots.

Mr. Trump warned Friday morning that rioters will face repercussions unlike in other cities if they wreak havoc in Tulsa this weekend.

“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” Mr. Trump said through his Twitter account. “It will be a much different scene!

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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