Protest

Photo credit: Beaumont Police Department via Facebook

Protesters peacefully congregate in Beaumont May 31 six days after after George Floyd died at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis.

The County of Riverside proclaimed a local emergency and set a countywide curfew tonight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The order was signed today by County Executive Officer and Director of Emergency Services George Johnson, in coordination with law enforcement officials, and applies to all cities and unincorporated areas.

The curfew is in response to several areas of rioting and looting in Southern California over the weekend, as well as planned protests set to occur today in Riverside County.

“We want the community to be able to peacefully assemble and exercise their first amendment rights,” said Johnson. “We must also take action to protect our community from threats of rioting and chaos. If you plan to visit a protest today, we urge you to do so peacefully and return home at the time of the curfew.”

The curfew will expire Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and will not apply to residents who must leave their homes to attend essential work or business after 6 p.m. The curfew is intended to prevent any potential acts of destruction and violence at protest sites. Law enforcement will continue to serve the community by conducting patrols and responding to calls for service.

Banning Mayor Daniela Andrade posted the county’s announcement via Facebook, saying “We are not aware of any planned protests in Banning, but are monitoring social media. Protests are planned throughout Riverside County, so there is a likelihood of a gathering in Banning at some point. This curfew order is intended to target the unlawful protest activities that have been experienced in many places across the country” that has resulted in property damage and violence.

Public health officials also remind the community that while gathering for peaceful protests, community members should wear a face covering and maintain six feet between others to thwart the spread of coronavirus.

Members of the public can call 2-1-1 for more information.

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