Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles County Sunday to address widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also set a countywide curfew from 6 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday.
“ALL county residents should remain in their homes and only go out to seek medical care or go to work during this time,” Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon.
The Supervisors’ proclamation will facilitate interagency response coordination and mutual aid, accelerate the procurement of vital supplies, and enable future state and federal reimbursement of costs incurred by the county.
“This emergency comes as we are in the midst of battling another emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This taxes our resources, but not our resolve,” Barger said in a statement. “We will do everything in our power to keep our communities safe and protect lives and property. I continue to call on our residents to maintain calm and seek solutions productively, not destructively.”
The proclamation said that numerous acts of violence pose “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property,” adding that “damage, looting and arson to public and private property have affected numerous cities and locations throughout the county.”
“This is a time for us to come together to stand against injustice in ways that will make us stronger as a county and as a nation,” Barger said. “If you are assembling to protest, please do so peacefully and with respect for all those who are suffering.”
Read the proclamation here.
At the direction of Sheriff Villanueva, and until further notification, a countywide curfew was imposed as allowed by Government Code Section 8634.
Effective 6 p.m. Sunday, May 31, all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County shall adhere to staying off public streets, avenues, boulevards, places, walkways, alleys, parks or any public areas or unimproved private realty within Los Angeles County, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day.
The county may renew, amend or extend this order, in accordance with California Government Code section 8634 and County Code section 2.68.150.
This order does not apply to peace officers, firefighters, and National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area, individuals traveling to and from work, people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter, and individuals seeking medical treatment.
In the event the county curfew is more stringent than a resident’s local curfew order, the county curfew will supersede it. In other words, if a resident’s local curfew order is 8 p.m., the 6 p.m. county curfew supersedes it; if the local order is 4 p.m., the local order still stands.
Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, as provided by LACC section 2.68.320 or any applicable state or municipal law.
“This action from the county comes after days of rioting and looting in Southern California and across the country,” a statement from the city of Santa Clarita said.
“According to the Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, the curfew is a useful tool to separate the people who have a legitimate reason to be somewhere and the people who are looking to loot and cause trouble,” the statement said.
“The safety of residents and protection of property is the top concern for the Sheriff’s Department and the City of Santa Clarita. This curfew comes a day after a peaceful protest in Santa Clarita, where no arrests were made and no one was injured,” the city’s statement said.