The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has declared a countywide local emergency, and several cities across the County of San Diego have issued overnight stay-at-home orders in response to local protests, according to NBC San Diego. The curfew went into effect at 8 p.m. this evening and will last through 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Chancellor Khosla has since announced that the curfew is extended to UC San Diego campus.
Beyond campus, the curfew took effect in La Mesa, Poway, Santee, Coronado, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, National City, areas around Spring Valley, and areas from Lakeside north to Poway. All law and fire enforcement, medical personnel, and members of the press are exempt. Those traveling directly to and from work, seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, or experiencing homelesness are also exempt.
Protesters throughout the country, including the County of San Diego, have been demonstrating for justice and racial equity since the murder of George Floyd on Monday, May 25. Protests in San Diego were exacerbated by a recent video of police brutality when authorities arrested a black man in La Mesa.
“The Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement agencies in San Diego county stand united in supporting the public’s right to express their anger and frustration over the death of Mr. George Floyd through peaceful protests,” the Sheriff Department’s order reads. “However, when those demonstrations turn violent and threaten life and property, law enforcement must act to restore safety in our communities.”
According to the Times of San Diego, banks and stores in La Mesa were looted and burned between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Sheriff’s deputies tear gassed protesters around the police station.
On Sunday, San Diego police officers also used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protestors in the Broadway area due to what a SD Police Department tweet described as “an escalation of violence by the protestors.”
According to the statements, residents in the affected areas who violate the curfew’s orders are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both.
Chancellor Khosla announced a precautionary curfew in response to the county order.
“As a precaution, it makes sense to expand our non-affiliates curfew to match the County Order,” the notice reads. “Currently, we have a curfew on non-affiliates on campus from midnight to 6am. We are proposing expanding that curfew to begin at 8 pm this evening and ending at 6am tomorrow morning. Please note this curfew is applicable to non-affiliates only. Thank you.”
In an Instagram post, Associated Students explained that the curfew does not apply to employees or students of the university, and that the term “non-affiliates” refers to other friends or guests on campus. A UCSD press release says that campus is authorized to impose curfew on non-affiliates “to protect the safety of the UC San Diego community.”
This is a breaking story and The UCSD Guardian has contacted the university and members of Associated Students for further comment.
This article was updated at 10:20 p.m. to include the UCSD press release on campus curfew.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Lazo for the UCSD Guardian.