No curfew in L.A. County or city Thursday as protests continue

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There will be no nightly curfew for Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents Thursday, Supervisor Katheryn Barger announced.

The announcement came after Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the department will no longer be enforcing curfews following days of peaceful protests.

“Based upon current situational awareness and the recent pattern of peaceful actions by protesters, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will no longer enforce a curfew,” the sheriff said in a statement. “Other jurisdictions are free to make their own decisions.”

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti also announced the city will be lifting its curfew.

“Angelenos are rallying around powerful and peaceful demonstrations against racial injustice,” he said in a written statement. “We remain committed to protecting the right of all people to make their voices heard and ensuring the safety of protesters, businesses, residents, families, and our entire community.”

As massive protests over longstanding police brutality and the death of George Floyd continued throughout the county, officials enacted countywide curfews for four nights in a row, at times sparking confusion among residents as several cities enforced different curfews and the first countywide order came to many cellphones less than an hour before it was set to go into effect Sunday.

The curfew gave deputies and police power to arrest and cite those still on the streets after it went into effect each afternoon or evening.

L.A. Police Department Chief Michel Moore on Tuesday said more than 2,700 people were arrested amid the protests within the city, the vast majority for “failure to disperse” for curfew. It’s not clear how many more have been taken into custody since Moore gave that figure.

On Wednesday, county Supervisor Janice Hahn said curfews were no longer needed.

“I believe the curfews in LA County were needed Sunday night and Monday night — but now it seems like they are being used to arrest peaceful protesters,” she wrote on Twitter.

The sheriff had previously told KTLA the countywide curfew will continue “until the organized protests are gone.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has said the curfew is not constitutional to begin with and called on Barger to rescind the orders.

The foundation on Tuesday filed a lawsuit on behalf of Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter and others over the curfews, calling them “draconian.”

“The City and County of Los Angeles are attempting to use these curfews to suppress Black Lives Matter – L.A.’s right to protest,” co-founder of BLM-L.A. Melina Abdullah said in a statement Tuesday. “They are attempting to suppress our ability to fully mobilize and focus full attention on the true issue of concern in the protests — police violence against Black people.”

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