Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern declared a state of emergency and ordered the implementation of a countywide curfew today. The order was in response to the national wave of protests that have broken out over last week’s killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
While many of these protests have been civil, many communities including our own have been ravaged by organized looting.
For Immediate Release – Alameda County Sheriff Issues a Curfew Order https://t.co/8UqPZhcMCs pic.twitter.com/bO1lKoHNOW
— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) June 1, 2020
Several cities within the county had already implemented their own curfews over the past day or so, including Fremont, Hayward, and San Leandro. This countywide curfew order applies to remaining cities which include Emeryville, Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Newark, Oakland, Union City and other unincorporated parts of the county.
The curfew requires people to stay indoors and off the streets during the hours when it’s in effect. Anyone found by law enforcement officers to be in violation of the curfew will be subject to arrest and a misdemeanor citation.
“It looks like it’s going to be a repeat of the last three nights,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said. “Early reports coming in are that there are going problems.”
Not everyone is subject to the curfew, however, and exemptions have been made for law enforcement and other first responders, people going to and from work, homeless people and journalists.
“Businesses should close down and take all safety and security precautions to protect their businesses form looting,” Kelly said.
People are also being asked to only use 911 in the event of an actual emergency in order not to overwhelm the system.
“We obviously know there is going to be property damaging and looting, but please call us for any threat to human life, in-progress break-ins, robberies and other crimes as well,” Kelly said.
“If there’s 500 people looting the store, we probably already know about it, but if there are people being harmed or hurt, we want you to call 911,” he said.
In order to beef up officers’ numbers in the region’s streets, the county has already implemented its mutual-aid agreements with several other law enforcement agencies from as far north as the Oregon border and south to Tulare, Madera and Monterey counties.
The curfew starts Monday at 8 p.m., will last until 5 a.m. Tuesday and will be in effect everyday through Friday, according to Sgt. Kelly.
Gov. Newsom Mobilizes National Guard, CHP to help keep peace
In addition to this county curfew, CA Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the mobilization of 4,500 National Guard troops and 7,000 CHP officers to help maintain order during protests and unrest.
While these troops and officers are available statewide, Newsom said the resources will be initially concentrated in Southern California where unrest has been more intense and widespread.
Is Local News essential to you?
If so, consider a one-time or recurring contribution to help support our local journalists.
Just for future reference or a pastime for a bored lawyer, this curfew was imposed illegally.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department has no independent authority to impose a curfew. Under 2.118.120(A) of Alameda County’s Administrative Code, the director of the office of emergency services (in this case, the Sheriff) only has authority to make rules and regulations which MUST be confirmed by the Board of Supervisors.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors never confirmed the curfew (nor was it brought before them for confirmation as required by law). As a result, the curfew was an illegal overreach by the Sheriff.
For an area with so many people certain we’re on the verge of a police state, I was surprised no one (including every single member of the Board of Supervisors itself) even noticed.
Next time the police state arrives, please be advised that under Alameda County law, the power to impose a curfew during a declared emergency ultimately lies with the Board of Supervisors, not the Sheriff.
If anyone successfully sues, my cut can be donated to the EvilleEye. 😉