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Man says he got curfew violation after posting on social media

A Milwaukee man who attended protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd said he received a curfew citation in the mail after he documented his whereabouts on social media, according to a new report.

Demetrius Griffin told WDJT-TV he received the $691 citation in the mail Wednesday, for a violation the night of May 31.

“Subject violated emergency curfew that was set by mayor for the hours of 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.,” said the citation, obtained by the outlet. “Video available.”

He livestreamed his whereabouts that night — and continued to do so for the next five days, his Facebook feed shows.

Griffin told the outlet he feels “something’s not right” about the citation.

“I feel like it’s just a scare tactic, they’re trying to intimidate me,” he said. “They don’t like the stuff I [post] so … they put $691 for breaking a curfew.”

It’s unclear whether the citation is legitimate. The notice, filled out by hand, says it was issued by the Milwaukee Police Department’s “Virtual Investigation Unit,” and is in Spanish — but Griffin said he does not speak Spanish.

It includes Griffin’s driver’s license number and a signature by an officer. He told the outlet he only knows of two other people who have received similar tickets.

Demetrius Griffin's citation
Demetrius Griffin’s citationFacebook

“They’re using stuff like this to make us shut up about our First Amendments because we are just out peacefully protesting,” he said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales told the station he hasn’t seen Griffin’s notice himself — but that the department doesn’t have the capacity to search for people to dole out curfew citations based on social media posts. At times, however, social media posts are used in an attempt to nab someone who committed a more serious crime, he said.

Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Nicole Muller told the station she’s never seen a citation like Griffin’s before, but confirmed her firm has received multiple protest-related citations and arrests.

The ticket number could not be found through a search of the Milwaukee Municipal Court System, according to the report — but Muller told the outlet there could be a backlog due to the ongoing protests.

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