Los Angeles Drops Charges Against Protestors After BLM, ACLU File Lawsuit

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
June 8, 2020USshare
Los Angeles Drops Charges Against Protestors After BLM, ACLU File Lawsuit
Protesters are arrested after curfew went into effect during mostly peaceful demonstrations over George Floyd’s death downtown in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 2, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The City of Los Angeles said Sunday that it has dropped criminal charges and fines against protestors who were arrested for breaking a curfew after Black Lives Matter and America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed a lawsuit against the city.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed a curfew for five nights in a row after protests over George Floyd’s death turned violent, with rioters looting and setting fires in the Fairfax district and downtown, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to the violent protests, saying, “persons who committed significant crimes such as looting, burglary, robbery, vandalism, arson, and assault with great bodily injury will be held accountable for their actions during the past days.”

The curfew was supposed to instill calm and restore order, but others saw it as a violation of rights.

NTD Photo
Men are arrested after curfew went into effect during demonstrations over George Floyd’s death downtown in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 2, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Some people who were arrested for violating the citywide curfew complained about being put in plastic handcuffs and placed in cramped busses, actions that protestors claimed left them with injuries and possible exposure to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, according to LA Times.

A lawsuit filed by the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles division and ACLU Southern California claimed that the curfew violated people’s freedom of movement and suppressed the right to protest. The organizations also condemned the use of violence some officers used in dealing with protestors, as some instances were captured on video.

“Given what we have seen this week with respect to how LAPS enforced the curfew—the many videos and news reports of excessive force and ambush tactics—any move by the city council attorney to force people to defend themselves against curfew charges would be tantamount to sanctioning police repressions,” said Adrienna Wong, senior staff at the ACLU.

In response, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office deals with curfew related violations, said that her office will no longer be pursuing curfew cases.

It is unclear how authorities plan to enforce the curfews.

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