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San Diego Police, Sheriff says protest organizers could be cited

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 20:11:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Police and Sheriff's Department are responding to protests held over the weekend around the county over California's stay at home order.

In a joint statement, the agencies said while no citations were issued at the protests, "that does not mean prosecution will not be sought, especially to the organizers of these events."

"Throughout these challenging times, law enforcement’s role has been to maintain public safety by ensuring community members are in compliance of the state and county regulations to prevent the spread of COVID19," the statement read in part. "Numerous warnings have been given along with citations to those who violated these orders."

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Saturday and Sunday, demonstrators in downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, and Encinitas called on the state to end its stay at home restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Police and deputies didn't enforce the orders through citations or arrests. Both agencies said they "recognize this fundamental right while balancing it with the need to enforce the public health orders." The agencies said both demonstrations remained peaceful and protesters dispersed once the events ended.

"Although these orders have caused great strain to all of us, they are in place to save lives. The San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department will continue to enforce the health orders," the statement added.