San Diego County declared a countywide local emergency Sunday in response to the riots that have resulted in several vandalism reports, arson, looting and assaults and some cities issued curfews that will take effect Sunday evening.
Protestors have held demonstrations throughout the county beginning Saturday to call for justice in the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide outrage that led to protests in numerous cities across the country, including a few in San Diego.
People also protested to voice their concerns of the controversial arrest of a black man in La Mesa. In a video, a white police officer could be seen pushing the man. It is unclear what the arrest was regarding, but the incident led to the administrative leave of the officer and a special investigation.
In the local emergency declaration, the county found "that these emergency conditions are beyond the control of local resources, services, personnel, equipment and facilities..” The county is also asking Gov. Gavin Newsom declare a state of emergency in San Diego County and to suspend "any regulation, rule or order that could hinder emergency response and recovery efforts" to make federal resources available for disaster relief in the county.
In response to the unrest, some cities in the county issued curfews that would take effect Sunday evening -- some also have curfews for Monday night. The following cities are mandating curfews:
- La Mesa -- effective from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday; 7 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday
- Poway -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday until 5:30 a.m. Monday;
- Santee -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday; 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
- Areas around Spring Valley -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday to 5:30 a.m. Monday; 8 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday
- Areas from Lakeside north to Poway -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday; 8 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday
- Coronado -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday to 5:30 a.m. Monday;
- El Cajon -- effective from 7 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday; 7 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday
- Lemon Grove -- effective from 7 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday;
- National City -- effective from 8 p.m. Sunday to 5:30 a.m. Monday.
The city of San Diego said Monday it does not plan on implementing a curfew but that could change.
Individuals who violate the curfew are subject to face a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department warns.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued a statement on Sunday to condemns the curfews, stating that enacting such an issue is "the wrong way to respond" to the protests.
"By making presence on public streets anywhere in a city unlawful, police are afforded too much discretion over whom to interrogate or arrest," David Loy, legal director for the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said in a statement. "This can lead to selective and biased enforcement, especially against Black people and other people of color; and it can invite harassment of people who are unhoused. Blanket curfews also undermine transparency and accountability by preventing the press from covering law enforcement’s response to public events.