UPDATE: ACLU SoCal Sues City and County of LA, San Bernardino Over Curfews

Rebekah Sager
June 04, 2020 - 7:03 am

As peaceful protests continue across the city, the American Civil Liberties Union claims the curfews are unconstitutional. 

The suit was filed on behalf of Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles (BLM-LA) as well as journalists, protesters, and other individuals challenging what it calls "draconian" curfews imposed throughout Southern California designed "to crack down on widespread protests against systemic police violence towards Black people."

“The City and County of Los Angeles are attempting to use these curfews to suppress Black Lives Matter – L.A.’s right to protest,” said Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM-L.A. “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.”

Curfews went into place initially over last weekend, and times have varied. But most cities are 6:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m. 

Sheriff Villanueva told KTLA on a phone interview Tuesday that the curfews will stay in place until "protests are gone." 

Meanwhile, in a tweet to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and its chair, Kathryn Barger, the ACLU Southern California tweeted a demand to "rescind the curfews now."

“The Order in its present form is neither authorized by state statutory law nor consistent with the United States Constitution,” the ACLU letter reads. “…including the Constitution’s prohibition on restrictions of speech and assembly, its protection for the freedom of movement, and its most basic notice requirements.”

Janice Hahn has questioned the need for the curfews to have continued.

“I believe the curfews in L.A. County were needed Sunday night and Monday night,” Hahn tweeted Wednesday. “But now it seems like they are being used to arrest peaceful protesters.”

The defendants in the lawsuit include:

Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles

Michel Moore, chief of Los Angeles Police Department

Alex Villanueva, sheriff of Los Angeles County

Eric McBride, chief of San Bernardino Police Department