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A quiet Monday night in the Quad-CIties follows a night of civil unrest
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A quiet Monday night in the Quad-CIties follows a night of civil unrest

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Quiet Quad-City streets and empty sidewalks Monday night were a stark contrast to a community where, 24 hours before, streets teemed with traffic, shouting and violence and two people were killed and two others — including a police officer — were injured.

A mandatory curfew from 9 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Tuesday left stillness in its wake where, throughout Sunday night and early Monday, streets swarmed with vehicles, where rolling, rowdy demonstrations gathered at first one location then another, and emergency responders sped throughout the Quad-Cities.

Windows of businesses had been boarded up Monday afternoon, and vehicles were parked in front of storefronts as protection. An occasional person ventured out after curfew, but most of the activity came from police, patrolling the streets. Metro bus service, serving Rock Island County, suspended service by 7 p.m. Monday. Service will resume Tuesday.

Quad-City mayors and county officials agreed to the curfew, which will remain in place until a time to be determined.

Violent disturbances in the Quad-Cities reflected the nation after the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer held him in a choke hold with a knee to the neck for several minutes.

In Davenport late Monday night, no traffic — vehicle or pedestrian — was visible at Northpark Mall or Village Shopping Center on Kimberly Road — scenes that had been filled with people the night before — and the area around Walmart was still, with only a handful of vehicles traveling in the vicinity. Less than 24 hours earlier, one person was shot and killed at the Walmart at 3101 W. Kimberly Road and another in the 1100 block of West 15th Street.

Early Monday, Mayor Mike Matson urged the people of Davenport to be vigilant Monday night.

Matson had protested peacefully with more than 700 others Saturday, he said.

“I stood with them and I will stand with those peaceful protesters.”

But Sunday night's protesters intended to create chaos and purposely inflict damage throughout the Quad-Cities, Matson said. “This was a blatant disregard for the rule of law and the sanctity of human life and does not reflect our community."

Problems began about 10 p.m. Sunday, when “we began to see numerous disturbances which started to occur around NorthPark Mall,” Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said later Monday morning. There had been more than 100 vehicles with occupants creating problems throughout the night.

Officers responded overnight to 45 serious disturbance calls and numerous reports of gunfire. There were four shooting victims including the two fatalities and the wounded Davenport officer. Seven men — all local — are in custody for offenses related the pair of shootings, including the ambush on an unmarked Davenport police vehicle in which an officer was wounded.

“Please be vigilant, report any suspicious activity,” Matson said at a 9 a.m. news conference. He also advised people to lock their homes and vehicles, to keep their firearms safely secured and to leave their exterior lights illuminated.

Scott County Board of Supervisors Chair Tony Knobbe said the curfew would apply to all citizens except those people going to and from their work or performing their work, government officials and credentialed press.

The Iowa National Guard would assist, Gov. Kim Reynolds said in an afternoon press conference.

Sikorski said the wounded officer was one of three officers patrolling in a vehicle about 3 a.m. when they were ambushed in area of 15th and Myrtle streets.

The wounded officer was doing well Monday morning, Matson said.

Sikorski also said at Necker's Jewelers, 4007 E. 53rd St., officers found more than 30 shell casings.

Matson said the Davenport Fire Department also was investigating three suspicious fires from overnight.

Davenport Fire Chief Mike Carlsten said no one was injured in the incidents but could not provide more detail other than that they were under investigation.

Police from Blue Grass, Buffalo, Clinton, Eldridge, LeClaire, Moline, Rock Island, Walcott, Iowa State Patrol and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department aided Davenport in quelling the violence and preventing damage to property.

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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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