More than 100 arrested as San Diego protests turn destructive

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SAN DIEGO – More than 100 people were arrested Sunday during protests against police violence, the San Diego Police Department said.

“In total over 100 people were arrested & booked in to jail for charges ranging from failure to disperse, burglary, assaulting officers & vandalism,” the department tweeted early Monday.

The looting was reported after 10 p.m. Sunday as large numbers of people moved through the streets of downtown breaking windows and entering stores. Police responded en masse, cornering a group of looters near Fifth Avenue and C Street.

Several locations, including a CVS at Fourth Avenue and Broadway and a 7-Eleven nearby, were broken into or vandalized, police reported.

Earlier, police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protesters and issued an unlawful assembly order in the area of Broadway, downtown, due to escalating violence. Police made numerous arrests after officers were hit with rocks and water bottles.

Monday morning, city workers began cleaning up graffiti, broken glass and trash along Broadway, where protesters and police confronted each other for hours on Sunday. Workers used power washers to remove slogans and profanities spray-painted on walls and windows along the street. Business owners began to assess the damages done by looters who broke into downtown stores after the sun went down.

The violence and destruction followed a second full day of protests held to seek justice for George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis.

San Diego County officially declared a state of emergency Sunday in reaction to police protests nationwide, and several cities imposed an overnight curfew. Jeff Collins, a county spokesman, said the state of emergency was declared in part so the sheriff’s department could impose a curfew for unincorporated areas. He said it would also allow the county to seek federal reimbursement if needed.

According to a news release, the curfew was to be imposed at 8 p.m. Sunday in several unincorporated communities including Lakeside and Spring Valley.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, all residents were urged to “stay home, indoors and off the streets.” Violation of the curfew order is a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail, or both. It was unclear if anyone had been arrested for violating curfew orders.

Poway also imposed a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and members of the media are exempt from curfew, as are those commuting “directly to and from work, seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness,” according to the city.

Santee also imposed an 8 p.m. curfew, CBS8 reported. According to its web site, the city was asking residents to “please stay home and stay safe” with their families unless they need “to travel to work, seek medical care or are experiencing an emergency situation.”

The city of El Cajon Sunday proclaimed a “dire local emergency” in the wake of protests, and also imposed a curfew that began at 7 p.m.

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