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As clashes between protesters and police continued for a third night across the Bay Area on Sunday, with police fighting protesters in several communities and more theft and violence, San Jose joined. and Walnut Creek in San Francisco on Sunday imposing curfews to try to maintain peace. .
In Walnut Creek, with reports of a woman being shot in the arm and scores of looters filling the Broadway Plaza business district on Sunday afternoon, the city imposed an immediate 6 p.m. curfew and asked all businesses “to close immediately. Please make sure your doors are locked and secure.”
In San Jose, a fast-paced city curfew began at 8:30 p.m., but allowed people to go to important businesses, including grocery stores and hospitals.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that while his department “heard the calls for change, we heard calls for accountability,”; after the Minneapolis police killing of an unarmed black man, ” we will allow our city to infiltrate the conflict. We will not establish martial law, we will use it dangerously. “
Oakland, where tensions were also high after George Floyd’s Minneapolis police killing sparked national outrage, still called for the same restrictions Sunday night – a sign of loaded decisions balancing public safety and free speech.
“Tonight (Sunday night) Oakland will continue to have a strong presence in law enforcement to prevent and enforce against any illegal activity,” Mayor Libby Schaaf and interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer told the joint statement. “We ask everyone to stay home – honor our order-health-in-place order, and prevent the vandals from hiding inside peaceful demonstrations.”
For some, curfew has had an immediate effect.
“I was not arrested,” said Dana Walker, 40, of San Jose, planning to leave San Jose town at 8 p.m. sharp “I do not give them any reason to imprison me or to kill me.”
Like other cities across the country, demonstrations across the Bay Area continued Sunday as people marched through the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, a black man, last week by police in Minneapolis last week. The officer who hit his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes before he died was fired from the force and charged with third degree murder.
The San Jose city curfew that will remain in the area for at least a week has come in response to peaceful protests that have become law violations. In San Francisco’s Union Square on Saturday night, high-end stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, were ransacked, and in Emeryville, entire mall malls were selected clean. The videos showed the Best Buy crowd and loading their trunks on TVs.
The San Jose Police Department received “intel of a planned robbery” Sunday night in areas across the city, Garcia said, which is why the curfew road exits the town. Since Friday, vandals have caused “millions of dollars in damage” to public and private property, he said. His officers made 100 arrests. Although 400 backup officers from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department are ready by Sunday, Garcia said he hopes he doesn’t have to ask the National Guard.
The excitement subsided before Sunday night. In the town of San Jose, where an SUV supported a protester on Friday and vandals set fire to fire and shattered shop windows, police rows in riot gear moved toward a man near City Hall on Santa Clara Street.
In Walnut Creek, hundreds of vandals hit Macy’s and others’ stores in Broadway Plaza.
Curfews have been met with mixed reactions, causing fears some of the new restrictions will only exacerbate tensions.
Luis Falcon, a 32-year-old teacher who was one of hundreds protesting at San José City Hall, said a curfew would violate his First Amendment rights and could lead to more violence because officials it will be forced to enforce whether protesters leave or not.
“We’ve never been at peace, so I don’t understand why he has to take these massive steps,” Falcon said of Mayor Sam Liccardo. “It can escalate things. They do not allow us to protest peacefully and they do not take the necessary steps to keep it peaceful.”
Ammir Umar, 28, an inventory technician with Google who escaped tear gas and rubber bullets in downtown San Jose on Friday, planned to stay home on Sunday.
“I’ve seen martial law in other cities and I don’t want to be a part of it,” Umar said Sunday. At the same time, he added, “things should be peaceful, but no one on either side, the protesters or law enforcement, is playing fair. People need to go home and be angry about the right things, give their anger in the right direction. Burning cities is not the right way. “
In a news conference imposing the San Jose Sunday curfew, Mayor Liccardo told reporters he believes most officials “have made a big decision” and that they have prevented “worse” injuries and injuries. condition.
The San Jose emergency order goes into effect from 8:30 p.m. to 5pm every night for the next seven days or “until further notice,” according to a news release from the city.
In a message posted Saturday night on the Oakland Police Twitter page, interim Chief Susan Manheimer urged “If you are going to Oakland or in Oakland, please show peace and respect.”
Oakland police say they arrested about three dozen people in total Friday and Saturday on suspected charges including theft, possession of a firearm, and assault with a deadly weapon.
California Highway Patrol officials parked on the freeways on Sunday, as they used to protest Friday and Saturday nights, hoping to prevent protesters on the freeways by walking down the freeways.
The San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Sunday morning condemned the damage done to businesses in the city Saturday night after a peaceful demonstration became a mess and it was confirmed that a curfew would be implemented from 8 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday.
“It’s very difficult, when you see what happened to George Floyd and others, it’s hard not to react. It’s not difficult to feel the pain,” Breed told the city at a somber press conference streamed online. “We know that people are hurt, angry, angry – all kinds of emotions. “
But, he added, the attacks on people, and the damage done to businesses in the city – including from set fires and thefts – “is really not something we can tolerate.”
He added, “we will do what we need to do to protect the city for the safety of the people. This includes, even unfortunately, doing things that are uncomfortable with people, such as bringing more law enforcement. . “
The curfew, Breed said, will last until the situation is “controlled.”
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said at a press conference that outside health care workers and other important workers, such as first responders, people should not be outside during curfew.
He urged people to keep the protests peaceful and to recognize his department’s role in facilitating peaceful demonstrations.
“We understand why we’re here,” Scott said. “African American men have been killed at the hands of law enforcement.”
Reporting staff Aldo Toledo and Harry Harris contributed.