Less than a day after enacting a curfew covering a portion of downtown that includes the BOK Center, the site of President Donald Trump’s planned rally this weekend, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum surprisingly rescinded the curfew on Friday afternoon.
The sudden end of the curfew was unexpected, as Bynum had said on Thursday night that he was enacting it because of information that “out of state” groups that had “engaged in extremely violent and destructive behavior” were headed to Tulsa.
On Friday afternoon, Trump tweeted that he had just spoken to Bynum, “who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters attending the #MAGA Rally.”
Michelle Brooks, the city of Tulsa’s director of communications, told The Frontier that the curfew had been rescinded, and Bynum said in a statement that he had enacted the curfew at the request of the Tulsa Police and the U.S. Secret Service, but then rescinded it after the Secret Service told him it was no longer necessary.
“Last night, I enacted a curfew at the request of Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, following consultation with the United States Secret Service based on intelligence they had received,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “Today, we were told the curfew is no longer necessary so I am rescinding it.”
In a news release Friday evening, the Tulsa Police Department said that “in lieu of the Executive Order, a secure zone has been established by the United States Secret Service” in cooperation with Tulsa police and other law enforcement agencies.
“This limited-access secure zone gives all law enforcement the ability to keep the area clear of individuals that are only present to break the law and disrupt the rights of people assembling peacefully,” the release said.
The decision to rescind the curfew came as a surprise to Tulsa District 4 City Councilor Kara Joy McKee, whose district includes Tulsa’s downtown, where the rally is scheduled to take place. McKee, who said she was in the Greenwood District handing out face masks during the Juneteenth celebrations, told The Frontier she’d heard nothing about any change to the curfew implemented in her district.
The City of Tulsa is bracing for potentially more than 100,000 visitors to downtown during and after the rally, and the curfew appeared to possibly be aimed at keeping those attending the rally and those protesting the rally from facing off outside the BOK Center.
Trump supporters began gathering outside of the BOK Center earlier this week, days ahead of the rally. On Friday thousands of people were celebrating Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the country, as well.
Saturday’s rally is set to begin at 7 p.m., but attendees will be allowed entrance to the arena hours ahead of time. The Trump campaign has said that more than 1 million tickets to the event have been requested, and though the BOK can only hold just more than 19,000 people, at least two overflow sites are planned and Trump told reporters on Friday he would likely conduct an additional speech outside the BOK Center following the end of his rally.