HAMILTON, NJ -- Following a night of unrest, rioting and looting in Trenton and near the border with Hamilton Township, Mayor Jeff Martin is implementing a curfew Monday night. The Township-wide curfew will go into effect at 7:00 pm on Monday and last until 6:00 am on Tuesday. The curfew hours are in line with those put in place by City of Trenton to prevent anyone from moving into Hamilton to riot or loot businesses.
Under the curfew orders, all Hamilton businesses must close at 7:00 pm, and all residents must be at home by that time. Hamilton Township officials are working with other Mercer County towns to prepare for any further violence though no specific threats have been made public. The Mayor said he would rather "over prepare" to protect the community.
In a statement regarding the violence seen in Trenton Sunday night Martin said the that "Hamilton's first responders, and specifically our Hamilton Police Department, exemplified their professionalism and commitment to keep all of Hamilton safe. They chose a profession that puts them out on the front lines instead of being home safe with their families.
"Our police officers and firefighters are working around the clock to ensure we remain as protected as possible. I hope you all join me in thanking them for their continued service and remarkable courage," said Martin.
The Mayor reported that the Township received up to 90 emergency calls per hour on Sunday evening until approximately 3:00 am. He said there were numerous arrests made in connection with vandalized buildings but, no looting was reported. Martin said there were a "handful" of reported incidences at the Family Dollar store on Hamilton Avenue and in the Bromley section of the Township.
Under the Mercer County Rescue Task Force, numerous Hamilton police and fire personnel were detailed to Trenton to calm the violence. One Hamilton police officer was treated at a local hospital after being struck in the head, while wearing a helmet, with a projectile.
The nationwide protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota by a police officer who has since been charged with murder and manslaughter.
Martin addressed the tragedy by saying "like so many in our nation, I am deeply saddened over the senseless murder of George Floyd. I stand with all who have peacefully demonstrated in the name of justice and a call to end systemic racism and racial inequality.
"While we are a nation grieving for those tragically killed, we cannot allow our message of ‘liberty and justice for all’ to be muted by the looting and violence seen over the weekend across our country, including the senseless destruction in Mercer County last night. Violence that hurts our residents and our businesses, who are already suffering due to the pandemic, does not help to seek justice for Mr. Floyd and countless others before him," added Martin.
"We as humans are inherently imperfect but must not let the negative work of the few, destroy the positive work of the many. I implore all of us to stand together peacefully. We must set a better example so the world our children are raised in, is one we can all be proud of," Martin said.
Story will be updated as more information is available.
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