Santa Monica has joined other Los Angeles County cities by declaring a curfew through 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed a citywide curfew Saturday night following a day of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Garcetti said everyone must leave the streets by 8 p.m. Saturday until 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

Several police cars were torched Saturday afternoon following a night of violence that saw windows smashed, stores robbed and fires set. Los Angeles police arrested 533 people last night.

Other jurisdictions, including Santa Monica, also issued a curfew for the same time as the looting moved through the region. Emergency responders, individuals traveling to or from work or those seeking emergency care are exempt from the order.

In issuing the local order, Santa Monica officials said the city values peaceful protest and voiced sympathy with those expressing outrage at the death of George Floyd.

“As a city, we grieve with the family of George Floyd, feel the anguish across our broader community, and commit ourselves to the healing process that must follow,” officials said in a statement.

Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. His death has sparked protests nationwide including several large gatherings in downtown Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Chief of Police Cynthia Renaud said in a statement said the actions of the Minneapolis officers involved are directly in conflict with the oath police officers have taken, which is to protect and serve.

“The Santa Monica Police Department feels the strong emotions and concerns that are being voiced and displayed countrywide,” Renaud said. “We share these emotions. While the death of George Floyd occurred more than 1,900 miles away, the actions of every sworn officer have the potential to tarnish the badge many of us hold dear.”

She said the department encourages discussion and conversation to promote freedom of speech, transparency and to preserve the layers of trust and confidence the department has developed with the community.

Peaceful protests occurred in Santa Monica and Venice on Thursday and Friday.

Santa Monica Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said in a Sunday email to the community that Santa Monica remained mostly peaceful throughout the evening, with the Santa Monica Police Department responding to a commercial burglary and a broken window at a business. She said no arrests were made for violations of the curfew order.

SMPD also provided aid to police in Beverly Hills and Culver City, she said.

“You may have seen images of two vandalized patrol vehicles as SMPD deployed to provide mutual aid. Our officers were not hurt,” Dilg said. “We condemn vandalism and violence in all of its forms.”

She said residents may see some businesses, including the mall, fortify their storefronts to avoid possible damage. Protesters looted the Grove and stores on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon.

“We will continue to monitor the situation through active deployment of the Santa Monica Police Department, as well as ongoing consultation with our community and regional law enforcement partners,” Dilg said. “We ask that our community remain calm and safe, and that your freedom of expression remain peaceful.”

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Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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