TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa officials have rescinded a curfew tied to President Donald Trump's controversial rally scheduled there Saturday in an extraordinary reversal that came after Trump spoke with the city’s mayor.
“I just spoke to the highly respected Mayor of Tulsa, G.T. Bynum, who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters attending the #MAGA Rally. Enjoy yourselves - thank you to Mayor Bynum!” Trump tweeted on Friday, hours before he was set to touch down for the pivotal campaign event.
The move represented a reversal by Bynum, a Republican, who hours earlier imposed a curfew to cover Friday and Saturday nights based on projections that 100,000 people could attend and concerns about civil unrest.
The timing of that curfew represented a challenge to Trump rally attendees, many of whom have been lined up for days at the BOK Center in anticipation of the rally.
Bynum said in a statement that he imposed the curfew Thursday at the request of Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, after consulting with the Secret Service and based on their intelligence. Bynum said the Secret Service asked the city Friday to lift the curfew.
“Today, we were told the curfew is no longer necessary so I am rescinding it," Bynum said.
Trump’s rally is being closely watched by supporters and critics because it is his first event since a rally in North Carolina in March during the early weeks of the coronavirus. Local health officials in Oklahoma had recommended against holding the massive indoor event for fear it could spread the virus further.
After the curfew was announced, Trump supporters lined up outside the 19,000-seat BOK Center were forced to move as city officials began setting up concrete barriers to section the area ahead of expected crowds of thousands who plan to attend.
Kelli Butler, 43, drove with her husband Dan and 13-year-old son Friday morning from Stillwell, about an hour southeast of Tulsa. Butler, who arrived at about 8:30 A.M. local time, said some of the groups, hovered under tents and seated in camping chairs, were told to move behind the barriers but were told their place in line would be honored.
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State Supreme Court denies challenge to rally
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday denied a request for a temporary injunction to block the BOK Center in Tulsa from hosting President Donald Trump's campaign rally Saturday.