On Monday, June 1, Highland General Manager Joseph Hughes, as the city’s director of emergency services, passed a proclamation of declaring a state of local emergency and implementing a citywide curfew following a night of looting.
The curfew prohibits people from being in the public streets, alleys, parks or other public places between the time of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. beginning Monday, June 1, and continuing until the proclamation is terminated or expired in seven days.
According to the proclamation, law enforcement, emergency personnel, news media and people traveling to and from work or religious services are exempted from the curfew. Should the emergency continue, the proclamation and curfew can be ratified and extended by the city council.
Sunday night and early Monday morning cities across California experienced civil unrest, looting, rioting and violence in relation to protests about the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minnesota while he was being detained by then-police officer Derek Chauvin.
A protest in downtown San Bernardino broke into rioting, looting and arson Sunday night, May 31.
Although no protests were held in Highland, the city had at least two incidents of looting and two incidents of vandalism, according to Hughes.
The city benefited from the protection of a large strike force of deputies that helped quickly quell the destruction, Hughes said. An increased deputy presence will continue during the local emergency.
Other incidents of looting were also experienced just outside of Highland in San Bernardino.
Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes during the arrest, was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department, investigated by the FBI then arrested and charged of murder and manslaughter on Friday, May 29.
EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION NO. 2020-02
EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY MANAGER/DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY SERVICES OF THE CITY OF HIGHLAND, CALIFORNIA, PROCLAIMING THE EXISTENCE OF A LOCAL EMERGENCY AND DECLARING A CURFEW
SECTION 1. RECITALS
A. California Government Code Section 8630 provides that a local emergency may be proclaimed by the governing body, or designee, of a city.
B. Chapter 2.44 of the Highland Municipal Code empowers the Director of Emergency Services to proclaim the existence of a local emergency for the protection of persons and property in the event of an emergency when the City Council is not in session, and further provides that any local emergency proclaimed by the Director of Emergency Services shall become null and void after seven days unless ratified by the City Council.
C. The City joins concerned community members and residents in their outrage regarding the murder of George Floyd. The City seeks to be an ally in the fight against racial injustice and the dismantling of systemic racism.
D. Following this tragic incident, protests and marches have taken place in many cities throughout the country, and in other cities in Southern California that have resulted in civil unrest, fires, violence, looting, graffiti, and rioting.
E. On May 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom authorized assistance after a request from the city and county of Los Angeles, and proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles County, citing to the civil unrest therein.
F. More protests are anticipated throughout Southern California and have the potential to arise in the City of Highland ("City"). There have been protests in the neighboring city of San Bernardino and looting in both San Bernardino and in the City that resulted in damage to numerous businesses.
G. The City respects the rights of peaceful assembly and protest.
H. With liberty comes responsibility; violence directed against persons and other acts that threaten public safety, including setting of fires and throwing objects, endangers innocent persons and first responders charged with keeping the peace.
I. It has been reported that violence is being instigated by outside agitators.
J. In order to safeguard the rights of peaceful assembly and protest, to protect the safety of City residents, property and businesses as well as emergency and law enforcement providers, it is necessary to establish a curfew to quell violence and destruction of property.
K. It is the City's intent to impose only a nighttime curfew so as to leave opportunities during daytime for the voices of the protesters to make themselves heard.
L. Upon proclamation of a local emergency, the Director of Emergency Services is authorized to make and issue regulations on matters reasonably related to the protection of life and property as affected by such emergency and to impose a curfew under Government Code Section 8634 and the Highland Municipal Code.
M. This Proclamation and Order is adopted pursuant to the City's police powers and powers afforded to the City in time of local emergency such powers being afforded by the State Constitution, State law, and the Highland Municipal Code to protect the peace, health, and safety of the public, and to protect life and property as affected by the emergency, in that this Order declares an emergency and imposes a curfew in order to restore the peace and prevent additional disturbances, looting, violence as has been seen in recent days.
SECTION 2. PROCLAMATION AND ORDER
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Joseph Hughes, Director of Emergency Services for the City of Highland, do hereby PROCLAIM AND ORDER THAT:
1. Conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have arisen within and around the City of Highland, caused by potential civil unrest and disturbances and violence. The aforesaid conditions of extreme peril warrant and necessitate the proclamation of the existence of a local emergency and imposition of a curfew.
2. A local emergency now exists throughout the City of Highland. Said local emergency shall be deemed to continue and shall be brought before the City Council within seven days for ratification.
3. During the existence of said local emergency the powers, functions, and duties of the Director of Emergency Services and the emergency organization of Highland shall be those prescribed by law, by ordinances, and resolutions of the City of Highland, and approved by the City Council.
4. A curfew is hereby in effect starting June 1, 2020 at 6 p.m., and ending at 6 a.m., and then daily thereafter from 6:00 p.m. to 6 a.m., and during which no person shall be upon the public street, avenue, alley, park, or other public place or unimproved public realty. This curfew shall not apply to the Highland Police Department, firefighters, or other emergency personnel or
civilians engaged in police or emergency work, nor shall it apply to authorized representatives of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network, or persons traveling to or from work or religious meetings.
5. The law enforcement forces of this City, along with the law enforcement authorities cooperating with the City, are hereby authorized and charged, to the extent provided by law, with the responsibility of enforcing this curfew and are further authorized to arrest such persons as do not obey this curfew after due notice, oral or written, has been given to said citizen. Any person not abiding by this declaration is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to punishment in accordance with Highland Municipal Code sections 1.24.010 and 2.44 .100.
6. This curfew shall remain in effect until such time as it is terminated by either the Director of Emergency Services or the City Council, or the termination or expiration of the local emergency. The Director of Emergency Services is directed to announce the curfew and penalties for violating the curfew on the city's website and other available messaging options.
SECTION 3. SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this Proclamation or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this Proclamation are declared to be severable.
ORDERED by the city manager/director of emergency services this first day of June, 2020.
Joseph Hughes, general manager
Director of emergency services
City of Highland