OAKLAND (CBS SF) — As San Jose, San Francisco, and other Bay Area cities have turned to establishing curfews to help squash violent protests of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, the City of Oakland was taking a different tack – at least for now.
As of Sunday night, curfews were in effect for the cities of Danville, Pleasant Hill, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek. In addition, Alameda County urged all its residents Sunday evening to stay home because of the civil unrest throughout the county and the East Bay.
“While a citywide curfew is always an option, we will continue to focus our law enforcement resources on providing high visibility with marked (police) vehicles, as well as utilizing unmarked vehicles, in our vulnerable areas without having to escalate to a curfew,” according to a joint statement Sunday night by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer.
In the statement, Schaaf and Manheimer said Oakland will continue to have “a strong law enforcement presence to prevent and enforce against any illegal acts.” As have officials in many Bay Area cities Sunday night, they asked residents to stay home. We ask everyone to stay home – the Bay Area counties’ health officers’ shelter-in-place health order is still in effect, if temporarily forgotten by many during the protest-related violence – and to prevent vandals from hiding within peaceful demonstrations.
A citywide curfew, Schaff and Manheimer said, remains an option. “We will continue to assess conditions and intelligence,” Sunday night’s statement said.
Oakland police have been dealing with protesters, of varying degrees of respectfulness and troublemaking intent, in various parts of the city, including downtown (centered along Broadway), the south end of the Port of Oakland and the Embarcadero just off Interstate Highway 880 near the 16th Avenue overcrossing.
The city of San Leandro ordered a curfew effective immediately just before 11 p.m. after the surge in crime Sunday. Residents were directed to stay at home except for first responders, people seeking medical care, and those traveling to and from work.
City of San Leandro has implemented a curfew, effective immediately. All residents are directed 2 stay home except 1st responders, those seeking med. care, those traveling 2 and from work, & unsheltered. The curfew will remain in effect until 5am. More info will b confirmed 2mor pic.twitter.com/DOXOOXlymz
— City of San Leandro (@CitySanLeandro) June 1, 2020
Earlier Sunday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced he was placing the city on a dusk-to-dawn curfew for at least week, hoping to restore calm to the city’s streets after a weekend filled with violent demonstrations.
The San Jose police said the curfew would become effective at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and last “for the next 7 days or until further notice.”
Santa Clara followed suit later Sunday citing concerns over violence in nearby San Jose.
“Due to civil unrest in the neighboring city of San José that has resulted in some looting and rioting over the weekend, City Manager Deanna J. Santana in her role as the Director of Emergency Services has declared a local state of emergency for Santa Clara,” officials said in a release.
“Santa Clara and San José have shared city borders where both Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row shopping districts are located and have been identified as locations of potential interest for protests and raids. At this time of issuing this release, there is already credible activity in the area.”
Additionally, Presiding Judge Deborah A. Ryan on Sunday ordered the closure of the Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday, June 1. Presiding Judge Ryan made the decision to close all courthouses after the city declared a state of emergency and implemented the curfew.
Mayors across the nation were taking similar actions. Los Angeles County declared a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for its 10 million residents, though the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which experienced looting on Saturday, imposed 4 p.m. curfews.
On Sunday afternoon, Walnut Creek officials also announced a curfew beginning Sunday night after looters targeted a number of downtown stores in the Broadway Plaza. Among those retail establishments was the large Target store.
“Due to civil unrest in the Broadway Plaza area, the City of Walnut Creek is establishing a curfew, effective at 6:30 pm today & asking all businesses downtown to close immediately,” Officials tweeted. “Please ensure your doors are locked & secured. Please call 9-1-1 only in the event of an emergency.”
It was not known if the 6:30 p.m. curfew would remain in effect for Walnut Creek. Another protest was planned in the East Bay city Monday afternoon.
The town of Danville has instituted a mandatory curfew beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday after declaring a state of emergency “due to civil unrest” related to looting and violent protests elsewhere in the Bay Area over George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.
Danville police in their alert cited the “looting and violence” in Walnut Creek, nine miles north of Danville, as a factor in their emergency declaration and were asking residents to stay at home during the curfew hours.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed placed her city under an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew Saturday night after a protest of the in-custody police slaying of George Floyd by Minneapolis police triggered a night of looting and arson fires. She has also asked the governor to have the National Guard on call to roll across the Bay Bridge and into city at a moment’s notice
“When it crosses the line, we have a responsibility to protect our city. And we will do what we need to do to do that,” Breed said. “To be clear, this is the last thing I want to do as mayor. I want peace. I want protests, but I don’t want the kind of violence and crime we see playing out across the streets of our city to continue.”
“Stay home,” was the advice of Police Chief William Scott, who said people other than exempt workers such as medical and transportation
personnel would be subject to questioning and possible detention.
Scott said at least 10 people were facing looting charges from Saturday night’s violence and would be facing the full brunt of the law.
“Last night our primary objective was to safe lives — make no one lost their life,” Scott said. “Because as bad as things were here, it could have been a lot worse…Thanks goodness we did not lose a life last night.”
In San Jose, the violence continued on Saturday night but not to the extent of a Friday night demonstration that triggered violent clashes between police and protesters.