Steinberg applauds curfew but community leaders say it does more harm than good

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After the first night of a new curfew in Sacramento, police say they made 50 arrests and 48 were people who were violating that curfew.

“I‘m relieved that last night was better but I know that we still have a long way to go,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.

Steinberg is standing by his and the city council’s decision to impose an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew within city limits Monday night and to bring in the National Guard.

“Paramount is keeping the public safe and preventing the loss of life, serious injury and the destruction of property,” Steinberg said.

Sacramento County has since proclaimed a local state of emergency that started retroactively on May 30, “when dangerous civil unrest in Sacramento occurred,” according to a county public information officer.

The curfew remained in effect Tuesday but some feel it is damaging the city’s relationship with the black community.

“Who are you directing this curfew, who are you directing this National Guard to? Who are you protecting?” community activist and Voice of the Youth founder Berry Accius said.

Accius feels the moves by the city council are an escalation working to silence the overall message of the protesters.

“We finally have a moment where we’re clearly saying there is a problem but we’re again dismissing the problem and now we’re talking about property,” Accius said. “It didn’t speak to the pain, it only spoke to the value of property over people.”

Steinberg insisted he and the city council made the decision to stop the vandalism, violence and the looting, not to quiet peaceful protesters.

“You know, this is a fine balance here,” Steinberg said. “There’s no excuse for what I don’t consider to be protesting, the looting and the destruction, no excuse for it. But it’s also true that we have to listen to what’s being said out there.”

Steinberg again defended his decision to not impose a curfew and call in the National Guard over the weekend.

“The protests were peaceful during the daytime on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night it got, obviously, violent. On Sunday, we took specific steps to address Saturday night and that was to enhance our mutual aid agreement with other neighboring law enforcement jurisdictions and that was an appropriate escalation,” he said.

The Sacramento Police Department said 50 people were arrested Monday night, one for an active warrant, one for vandalism and 48 for violating the curfew.

Community group NorCal Resist issued a statement Tuesday afternoon demanding charges against all protesters in custody to be dropped, citing some bail amounts set as high at $250,000.

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