The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday is expected to adopt a resolution ratifying City Manager Lori Ann Harrison’s declaration of a local emergency on May 31 in response to vandalism and looting at some protests in neighboring areas.
The city manager imposed a nightly curfew the same day the local emergency was declared.
Harrison’s emergency declaration came on the second day of protests in Orange County over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, a black man.
City officials cited concerns that unlawful activity such as arson, vandalism and looting seen at some protests in Los Angeles County and Santa Ana this past weekend could come to Costa Mesa.
“Peaceful demonstrations are essential to our democratic system. However, some individuals have engaged in dangerous and unlawful activity, threatening the safety of lawful demonstrators, surrounding communities, and first responders,” reads the resolution to be voted on Tuesday.
City staff said these “nefarious characters” are harming local economies already suffering from the economic downturn due to the pandemic by burning businesses, looting and vandalizing and taking away from peaceful protesters calling for justice.
If adopted, the City Council would determine when the local emergency is lifted.
The declaration of an emergency is intended to help the city prepare for any sort of civil unrest that could occur.
Hosam Elattar is a Voice of OC news intern. Contact him @firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ElattarHosam.
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