As thousands of protesters took to the streets of Southern California in the last few months to call for criminal justice reform in demonstrations that sometimes veered into vandalism and arson, hundreds found themselves handcuffed for far lesser violations.
Police in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Monica racked up thousands of arrests, mostly for defiance of curfew or dispersal orders, drawing criticism from public health officials who feared that unmasked officers detaining people in close quarters risked worsening the spread of COVID-19.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey and L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer announced that they would not prosecute people arrested for such minor violations, and legal challenges to the constitutionality of county and city curfew orders soon arose.
But on Monday, the city of Beverly Hills filed misdemeanor curfew violation charges against 25 people involved in a comparatively calm June protest, a move that has civil liberties advocates scratching their heads.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.