Walnut Creek, San Jose, San Francisco and other Bay Area cities instituted curfews Sunday following vandalism that damaged businesses across the Bay Area in protests following the death last Monday of George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, a white man who was arrested and charged for Floyd’s murder on Friday.
As of about 7 p.m., a crowd of thousands of protesters at San Francisco City Hall had been chanting and exhorting police officers to “take a knee.”
Approximately 80 arrests were made in the Market Street, the South-of-Market and Union Square areas for violations of the curfew order or for looting. Police seized a firearm and explosive as part of those arrests, and were anticipating making more arrests throughout the night into Monday morning.
Also, San Francisco police said “multiple” suspects were arrested for staying past the 8:30 p.m. curfew time during a large protest at the Civic Center that, because of the curfew, eventually was deemed an “illegal assembly,” and several people were arrested. That crowd had mostly dispersed by 9 p.m., police said.
During the daylight hours Sunday, San Francisco police said, demonstrations in that city were “overwhelmingly orderly and peaceful.”
Oakland police were dealing with hotspots of illegal activity throughout Sunday night including at the Durant Marketplace in the 18900 block of International Boulevard, downtown (centered along Broadway), the south end of the Port of Oakland and the Embarcadero just off Interstate Highway 880 near the 16th Avenue overcrossing.
San Jose, which enacted a curfew that started at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, reported relatively few problems Sunday night, though a Target store sustained some damage.
Dozens of stores in downtown Walnut Creek sustained broken front glass windows and looting of merchandise as looters late Sunday afternoon and into the night. The entire downtown area was under siege, and police were there in force. A curfew was declared Sunday night, in effect for the immediate future, city officials said. One young woman downtown was shot in the arm, apparently by a suspected looter.
In nearby Pleasant Hill, several parts of the city – the downtown business district, the Crossroads shopping center (Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods) and the Best Buy all experienced some degree of vandalism and looting. A curfew in that city went into effect at 9:30 p.m. Sunday and lasting until 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Protesters/vandals were also reported at the Sunvalley Mall in Concord and in the downtown Concord business district.
San Leandro police were still dealing with looters and others at the BayFair Center mall late Sunday night. Social media reports said that gunfire has been exchanged involving police and at least one suspect. That mall has been a focal point of looters and rioters Sunday night, and the nearby BART station has remained closed. Looters and vandals had also hit the Marina Square shopping center in San Leandro, where police using tear gas canisters remained late Sunday night. The San Leandro Home Depot was also a target of vandals late Sunday night.
In the North Bay, a group of about 200 demonstrators was moving between Courthouse Square and U.S. Highway 101 in Santa Rosa’s downtown area late Sunday night. Police were advising drivers to avoid the area, including driving through on 101 in case protesters try to block the freeway.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning Sunday night for all county residents to stay home, given the civil unrest reported around the East Bay, particularly in Oakland and San Leandro, as well as parts of neighboring Contra Costa County:
“Unless personal travel is necessary, we are recommending residents stay home due to the high number of police actions.”
The warning, which was shared on social media and via robocall to many East Bay numbers:
“Currently there are multiple reports of large, mobile groups of rioters and looters traveling throughout the East Bay Area. “
The warning also said travel on highways and freeways may be difficult or restricted, as multiple road and freeway exit closures are anticipated in an effort to thwart the vandals and looters.
As San Jose, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Santa Clara and other Bay Area cities have turned to establishing curfews to help squash violent protests of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, the City of Oakland is taking a different tack – at least for now.
A joint statement Sunday night by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer said:
“While a citywide curfew is always an option, we will continue to focus our law enforcement resources on providing high visibility with marked (police) vehicles, as well as utilizing unmarked vehicles, in our vulnerable areas without having to escalate to a curfew.”
In the statement, Schaaf and Manheimer said Oakland will continue to have:
“… a strong law enforcement presence to prevent and enforce against any illegal acts.”
As have officials in many Bay Area cities Sunday night, they asked residents to stay home. We ask everyone to stay home – the Bay Area counties’ health officers’ shelter-in-place health order is still in effect, if temporarily forgotten by many during the protest-related violence – and to prevent vandals from hiding within peaceful demonstrations.
A citywide curfew, Schaff and Manheimer said, remains an option:
“We will continue to assess conditions and intelligence.”
Oakland police have been dealing with protesters in various parts of the city, including downtown (centered along Broadway), the south end of the Port of Oakland, and the Embarcadero just off Interstate Highway 880 near the 16th Avenue overcrossing.
The town of Danville instituted a mandatory curfew beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday. Danville police in their alert cited the “looting and violence” in Walnut Creek, a city miles north of Danville, as a factor in their emergency declaration and are asking residents to stay at home during the curfew hours.
The City of Santa Clara declared a local state of emergency and issued a citywide curfew effective as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday.
Santa Clara City Manager Deanna J. Santana, in her role as the city’s director of emergency services, declared the local emergency and the curfew, which will last from 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. every day until further notice:
“Santa Clara and San Jose have shared city borders where both (the) Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row shopping districts are located and have been identified as locations of potential interest for protests and raids. … At this time of issuing this release, there is already credible activity in the area.”
San Jose issued its own curfew earlier Sunday, daily from 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. until further notice.
Police in Pleasant Hill, Concord and Walnut Creek dealt Sunday night with protesters and others associated with the death last week of Floyd, and are warning open businesses to close and people to stay away from commercial areas for fear of violence.
Pleasant Hill police Sunday night advised all open stores – primarily Target at Interstate Highway 680 and Chilpancingo Parkway and several grocery stores – to close as a precaution:
“We have people starting to move through Pleasant Hill, and as a precaution, we are advising all stores to shut-down. We are asking everyone to go home – store fronts, including grocery stores, will be closing-up as a safety measure.”
People who may be protesters or vandals were reportedly seen near Pleasant Hill’s downtown district, as well as at the Crossroads shopping center across I-680 from the downtown. Crowds also have been seen at the Best Buy store a half-mile south of the Crossroads center, police said.
The Concord and Lafayette BART stations were closed to what that transit agency describes as a “civil disturbances.” There had been some vandalism and looting reported at the Sunvalley Mall in Concord, about a half-mile north of downtown Pleasant Hill, and police have responded to that area.