This story was last updated on June 6 at 1:50 p.m.
City Council has voted to lift Sacramento’s emergency curfew that was put in place Monday. The deployment of the National Guard will also end at midnight tonight.
“We do not want to keep a curfew in place or the guard on our streets a minute longer than necessary,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The peaceful and powerful demonstrations of the past five days have given me confidence that these measures, which we imposed reluctantly, are no longer needed.”
The curfew was lifted a day after peaceful demonstrations went to the mayor’s neighborhood and staged a “die-in” which was attended by hundreds of people on Friday.
The council put the order in place Monday following theft and damage at Midtown businesses following protests over the death of George Floyd last weekend. See updates from Saturday's protests in Sacramento here.
We want to leave these details about the curfew published for future reference, but to be clear: As of Saturday, June 6, the curfew is no longer in effect.
Curious why demonstrators are protesting in Sacramento? Listen to black demonstrators explain their feelings in this moment.
When did the curfew take effect?
The curfew is no longer in effect. Previously it ran from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. According to the city, "The curfew will end when the City determines that the violence, chaos, and destruction have stopped."
What areas are covered by the order?
The order covered the entire city of Sacramento, but not the county or other nearby cities.
The city of West Sacramento suspended its overnight curfew on Wednesday night.
How can I get alerts?
Why did Sacramento issue a curfew?
In announcing the curfew, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said that business groups estimate nearly $10 million in damage to downtown businesses since Saturday.
"We expect more trouble tonight," Steinberg said. "As we speak we know there are peaceful protests in some parts of our city. We honor those protests. But as it gets dark … those protests no longer become protests, and they become acts of destruction and criminal acts. We are going to do everything possible to protect the property of people, but more importantly the safety of people."
Steinberg said curfews have had mixed results in cities around the country, but gives law enforcement an additional tool to control crowds.
Could businesses stay open?
No business could not stay open to the public. That meant restaurants, grocery stores, and any other business where customers enter the building had to close at 8 p.m. Businesses not open to the public could remain open.
Who could leave their home?
Even under the curfew, people were allowed to travel to and from work. Residents could also leave to seek medical care or leave a dangerous situation, such as "domestic violence, fire, criminal conduct, or any other unsafe circumstance."
Additional, these professions were exempt from the order:
- Law enforcement
- Military personnel
- Medical personnel
- Members of the news media
How was the order enforced?
City officials said people violating the curfew could face misdemeanor penalties of up to six months in jail, $1,000 fine, or both. The downtown Sacramento County Jail is not accepting inmates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so someone cited would be transported and it would then be up to the jail whether or not to accept them, officials said. The person would still need to respond to the citation and fine.
The city arrested 48 people for curfew violations Monday, the first night it was in effect. By Friday, the final day of the curfew, the city reported no arrests.
Steinberg announced around 500 members of the National Guard were deployed to Sacramento starting Monday evening, but mostly to guard private and public infrastructure. The deployment ended Saturday at midnight.
In a statement, the Sacramento Police Department said it "remains the agency responsible for enforcing laws in the City."
Are homeless residents exempt?
Steinberg said that while residents without shelter are not explicitly exempt, police were instructed not to break up camps per COVID-19 related orders from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do curfews work?
Experts on policing say there is little evidence curfews are effective, in part because they're so rare, LAist reports. Law enforcement officials say they can help reduce the amount of resources needed to respond to demonstrations.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the end time of the West Sacramento curfew. It ended at 5 a.m. while in effect.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.