R.V. Watts

R.V. Watts became the police chief in Monroe effective Jan. 1, 2019.

MONROE, Ga. — Police broke up a gathering involving dozens of people overnight.

Video began circulating on social media of a crowd at West Creek Circle.

Police Chief R.V. Watts said officers were called to a fight in the neighborhood. When they arrived, the crowd began to disperse.

The City Council voted down a proposed curfew in an emergency meeting Thursday morning. Councilman David Dickinson said it amounted to “imposing martial law.”

Watts told the council he supported a curfew, saying officers and sheriff’s deputies had responded to a gathering of hundreds of people last weekend.

The proposal would have required people inside the city limits to shelter in place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for a 30-day period to try to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions would have been made for people traveling to and from work or buying essential supplies like food and medicine.

Dickinson, Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Adcock and Councilmen Ross Bradley and Nathan Little opposed the curfew.

Councilwoman Lee Malcom supported it. Councilman Larry Bradley abstained.

Due to the outbreak, federal health officials have recommended people avoid crowds of 10 or more people and keep a distance of 6 feet or more.