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San Francisco officials are warning people heading into The City that a repeat episode of the vandalism, looting and fires that occurred late Saturday night will not be tolerated.

A curfew has been set for Sunday night beginning at 8 p.m. and lasting until 5 a.m. 

Businesses must close by 8 p.m. and only essential workers like nurses, doctors and public transit operators are exempted from the curfew order, said Police Chief Bill Scott at a Sunday press conference. 

via YouTube

Unhoused individuals, journalists and people who can prove they are traveling home, to a workplace or seeking medical assistance are also exempted from curfew enforcement.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin Monday after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes has sparked massive protests and unrest that at times turned destructive and violent.

Mayor London Breed said understands the frustration and anger about what happened to Floyd.

The mayor said:

“The thing that was the most heartbreaking was when we saw him calling for his mother. I know that touched a chord with me. It touched a chord with so many people and sadly he is not longer with us.”

While a protest Saturday at City Hall began and remained peaceful through most of the day, some people gathered became violent as night fell.

Lorie Shaull A man leaves a photograph at a memorial for George Floyd on Wednesday afternoon, after the death of Floyd on Monday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Breed said:

“There were unfortunately assaults on people, including police officers. There was vandalism on vehicles and businesses. There were fires lit. That is really not something we can really tolerate.”

Breed added:

“In watching the videos, I was extremely upset, because unfortunately, with some of the vandals, they thought this was a game. They thought this was funny. This is not funny to damage property, to set fires that could lead to someone else’s death.”

The National Guard is on standby, Breed said.

Scott said police made 10 felony arrests related to looting, but are still collecting information to report the total number of arrests made Saturday night. Scott said many juveniles were taken into custody.

Jermaine Ellis via YouTbue

Acknowledging why people are protesting across the nation, the police chief said:

“Too many African American men have been killed by the law enforcement needlessly. We know that. This is not a new issue. This is not a new emotion. Part of what is driving us as professionals in the law enforcement world is to change this narrative.”

Police officers will enforce curfew and question people out past 8 p.m., Scott said. 

He said Saturday could have been worse and was thankful no one died during the events, which has happened in other cities over the past week.

Police officers Saturday night encountered people throwing Molotov cocktails into businesses and at officers, said Scott.

Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said firefighters responded to several dozens of calls reporting fires and 250 medical calls, mostly related to violence late Saturday night.

City officials also reminded the public that the nation is still dealing with the infectious Covid-19 disease and reminds those attending protests to wear masks, physically distance and to preferably stay at home.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco. He is a San Francisco native who works out of City Hall. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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