'Violation of my rights': San Jose protester, ACLU voice concerns over Bay Area curfews

Stephanie Sierra Image
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
San Jose protester, ACLU voices concern over Bay Area curfews
A curfew enforced across most of the Bay Area in an effort to curb violent protests following the death of George Floyd, but some feel it's a violation of their first amendment rights.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Several Bay Area cities have enforced a curfew in an effort to curb violent protests following the death of George Floyd, but some feel it's a violation of their first amendment rights.

"Police had rolled up onto the curb without warning and arrested me," said Alex Lee, a San Jose resident. "They didn't say, 'Hey get the hell out of here curfew is in effect.'"

RELATED: Here's which Bay Area cities are under curfew and what it means

Lee said he didn't know about the mandatory curfew that went into effect in San Jose Sunday night but he describes his arrest as abrupt and aggressive.

"We were trying to explain what we were doing, we weren't doing anything wrong," he said. "But, they wouldn't have it, they said, There are no exceptions, you are being arrested.'"

The ACLU of Northern California has called for an end to these curfews across the state.

RELATED: 'I am a target for this virus': Bay Area NAACP leader explains high stakes of protesting during COVID-19

"This is the wrong way to handle disruptions to what have been otherwise peaceful protests," the ACLU said in a statement released Monday. "The curfews are far broader than necessary to address any problems that have arisen or may arise."

Lee along with his friends said they were frustrated the curfew was used to arrest protesters.

"It suppresses our freedom of expression," Lee said, who added the protest he attended Sunday night was peaceful.

"When I was in the back of the police wagon, with my hand's zip-tied, all of a sudden another man was thrown in there just because he was watching from his doorstep," he said.

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These arrests come as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors announced a resolution that will prohibit hiring any police officers with a history of misconduct. District Attorney Chesa Boudin said there is a need for a state-wide policy.

"When we give police officers a gun and a badge, and the power to arrest, the power to use force it is essential that we hold those individuals to the highest standards," Boudin said. "And this legislation is a step toward doing just that."

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office said it's possible some protesters may be charged for violating curfew, but noted they will review each case carefully.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.