Los Angeles County announced Thursday morning it “does not plan to issue a countywide curfew order for tonight.” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti had previously stated he expected Wednesday’s to be the last for the city.
The County does not plan to issue a countywide curfew order tonight. pic.twitter.com/Epk9hGQzH4
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) June 4, 2020
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who insisted this week curfews would continue as long as organized protests did, appeared to signal his support.
Based upon current situational awareness and the recent pattern of peaceful actions by protesters, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (@LASDHQ) will no longer enforce a curfew. Other jurisdictions are free to make their own decisions. pic.twitter.com/FOScHMxA2o
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) June 4, 2020
Some cities, such as Beverly Hills, announced have followed the county’s lead. Localities, however, may still choose to impose curfews of their own.
The ACLU Foundation of Southern California on Wednesday sued the city and county of Los Angeles, along with the city of San Bernardino, on behalf of Black Lives Matters, journalists and protesters.
“These unconstitutional curfews have suppressed a huge amount of important political protest activity and disrupted the lives of over 10 million people,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel of the ACLU SoCal. “The curfews must end now.”
In addition to First Amendment and freedom of movement issues, “as written and implemented, the curfews fail to provide constitutionally-sufficient notice,” according to the filing.
Many have expressed frustration with at times last-minute or bungled communication from authorities. On Sunday, Angelenos received the alert announcing a 6 p.m. countywide curfew scarcely 40 minutes before. And on Monday, the county erroneously announced a 5 p.m. curfew at 3:33 p.m.; clarification was then provided through official social media channels, not the same emergency alert system used to notify residents by text of curfews.
Of the at least 3,000 arrests in L.A. County since mass protests for police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death began, the majority appear to stem from curfew violations.
The lawsuit’s five plaintiffs include East L.A. resident Kimberly Beltran Villalobos, who was cited curfew violations while attending a protest and moving her car within her neighborhood, and L.A. Taco reporter Lexis Olivier Ray, who was detained while covering protests.
Mayor Garcetti, LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Sheriff Villanueva and Board of Supervisors chair Kathryn Barger are among the five defendants.