L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced on Monday the county will be addressing protesters’ curfew violations outside of the court system. The Attorney’s Office said that it will move forward without punishment for violations that did not involve violence, looting or vandalism.
“Peaceful protest is profoundly important, and these protests have rekindled a long-overdue effort to change hearts, minds and institutions. We can’t let this moment pass as we have too many times before,” said Feuer.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore signaled support for addressing the curfew violations without punishment, saying the city attorney’s plan will “have lasting positive effects on our community.”
BLM-LA, the Los Angeles Community Action Network and the National Lawyers Guild release earlier demanded “that the Los Angeles City Attorney decline to file any charges against anyone protesting police violence… without conditions” in a joint statement.
“If the prosecuting agencies move forward with these unjust and unsound prosecutions, the Public Defenders Union and nearly 1,000 volunteer attorneys stand at the ready to defend every arrestee and to take each and every case to trial, ” the coalition wrote.
— NLG-LA ⚖️ (@NLG_LosAngeles) June 8, 2020
Amid a week a week of mass protests during which hundreds of curfew citations were issued, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit against the city and county on behalf of Black Lives Matter. In addition to claiming the curfews were unconstitutional, it also argued that not enough notice was given, with curfews often announced less than two hours before enforcement.
“The city and county of Los Angeles are attempting to use these curfews to suppress Black Lives Matter–L.A.’s right to protest,” Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM-L.A said in a statement regarding the lawsuit. “They are attempting to suppress our ability to fully mobilize and focus full attention on the true issue of concern in the protests — police violence against black people.”
More than 3,000 arrests were made in the midst of those curfews.