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ACLU, San Diego community weigh in on curfews

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jun 03, 2020

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) -- The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and members of the San Diego County community are weighing in on the implementation of curfews in some cities.

On Tuesday evening, a line of San Diego County sheriff’s deputies stood shoulder-to-shoulder to make sure a group of protesters stayed off the streets in Santee. A crowd of people stood on sidewalks with signs in hand while another group stood in front of businesses.

But by 7 p.m., deputies began enforcing the city’s curfew, and while most people left, two men did not. Deputies chased them and arrested both.

Justin Haskins has been with the group that stands in front of businesses. He said of the protesters: “We’re not going to stand in their way. This isn’t us versus them; we just want to protect the community.”

Haskins said for the most part, demonstrations have been peaceful. There have even been moments captured on video showing how people are respecting each other’s rights and perspectives.

In the end, Haskins said that some who may not agree with the mandated curfew but he understands it’s something Santee is doing to ensure the public’s safety.

“I can’t say I agree with the curfew. It’s a free country. I don’t think there should be, but I understand the intent and I respect it,” Haskins told 10News.

10News reached out to the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties regarding the curfew and arrests, and they issued this statemen:

"We are closely watching developments in Santee and elsewhere. A curfew over an entire city is an extreme infringement on freedom of expression and movement that risks arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, especially against Black people and communities of color. A curfew can be justified, if at all, only if it is narrowly limited in time and confined to precise locations. We remain concerned that locking down an entire city for several days is an unjustified overreaction."

As of Wednesday morning, Santee officials have not said whether the curfew will be extended.