Responding to the death of a black man, George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by police officers, protests have been going on for over a week in many parts of the country. The police officers, at least one of which is accused of having pressed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, have been fired and charged with crimes in his death. However, the curfews and protests continue in California and across the country.
Protests Throughout the State
In several cities throughout California, protesters were focused not only on Floyd but also on others who were killed or mistreated by police. Protesters in Oakland marched from a plaza named for Oscar Grant, a 22-year old black man who was fatally shot in the back as he was lying on the ground, handcuffed by a transit police officer in 2009. In Sacramento, protesters were led by Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark who, unarmed, was killed by police in his grandparents’ backyard when police officers mistakenly thought his cellphone was a gun.
In Los Angeles, protesters marched in memory of Kenneth Ross Jr, a black man with mental illness who was shot and killed by police officers in 2018. Protests continue in other California cities, including San Francisco, San Jose, Bakersfield, San Diego, Fresno, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Eureka, Visalia, and Stockton.
While some curfews have been eased or even lifted, others continue and have even become more restrictive. Curfews have been established because of the violence and looting that have been associated with some of the protests throughout the state and across the country.
A curfew typically means that no one is allowed on the streets, sidewalks, or out in any public space between certain hours. The only exceptions are for those who have to go to work or who have other valid reasons for being out when the curfew is in effect.
Hemet and Riverside counties have ended their curfews entirely. Stricter curfews have been implemented in parts of Beverly Hills, including a 1pm cutoff that is still in place.
You can be arrested for violating the curfew. In fact, the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s department arrested more than 2,100 people over the weekend. The number of arrests per protest has decreased significantly, with dozens arrested by the police and about a hundred people arrested by the sheriff’s department Tuesday night.
Additional Area Curfews
Curfews and protests continue in California, of course, and many areas are continuing to enforce their curfews. Santa Clarita has issued a curfew between 6pm Thursday to 6am Friday. The Santa Clarita City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday declaring a local emergency given the civil unrest in the area.
In Beverly Hills, the curfew that is in effect for most of the afternoon will be extended after looting and vandalism hit the city over the weekend. The citywide curfew will remain in effect through 6am Friday. The city’s police force plans to actively patrol the area as no one is allowed to be on the streets, sidewalks, parks, or any other public space while the curfew is in effect.
Shift to Peaceful Protests
Much of the looting and vandalism, however, has given way to peaceful protests. So much so, in fact, that Los Angeles County has decided not to issue a countywide curfew for Thursday night. Cities within the county still have the authority to set their own restrictions. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva explained in a written statement that “based upon current situational awareness and the recent pattern of peaceful actions by protesters, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will no longer enforce a curfew.”
Villanueva also attributed any ongoing violence and looting to a small group of people. He thanked protestors for not allowing these incidents to overshadow their message – that of protesting the death of George Floyd and a growing unrest with racial issues in this country – throughout the week.
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
As curfews and protests continue in California, we urge you to stay safe and healthy. Curfews are set in place for everyone’s protection. Please reach out to the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing criminal charges. Attorney Brower has the expertise to help you achieve a successful outcome with your case.