Curfew seeks to support peaceful protests while ensuring community safety

City of Palo Alto logoThe City of Palo Alto announced today the issuance of a Curfew Order beginning tonight, June 2 from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew will be in effect Tuesday, June 2 through the morning of Thursday, June 11 and is in response to several days of criminal activity seen in the broader Bay Area and surrounding communities.

“The City of Palo Alto protects our right to protest and to voice anger and disappointment in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25,” said Adrian Fine, City of Palo Alto mayor. “People are understandably outraged about racism and prejudice in our society. We encourage you to support your neighbors, family, friends, and local businesses as appropriate, and we appreciate your support during this challenging time.”

In recent days in many Bay Area cities and towns, groups of individuals, not in any way engaged in legitimate first amendment activity, have planned and executed criminal acts, including property damage and theft, focused in central retail areas during nighttime hours.

“The imposed curfew is to strike a balance between ensuring peaceful and lawful protests, while safeguarding against the unlawful actions and organized criminal activity seen locally and throughout the Bay Area that could very quickly threaten harm to our community members and local property,” said Ed Shikada, Palo Alto city manager. “The curfew is an important tool to keep our community and businesses safe during this challenging time.”

During the curfew, no person shall be upon the public street, road, sidewalk, alley, park, plaza or other right of way, anywhere within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Palo Alto.

Exemptions to the order include police officers, peace officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel or civilians engaged in police or emergency work; utility workers or others engaged in performing work on essential infrastructure; authorized representatives of any news service; any persons experiencing homelessness; and persons traveling to seek or provide medical care.

“We continue to monitor the current criminal activity seen across the Bay Area and are partnering with other local law enforcement agencies to protect our communities,” said Robert Jonsen, Palo Alto Police chief. “The threats to public safety continue in our region and a curfew is one tool of many to help us act more quickly to protect our community from harm.”

Curfew violations are considered a misdemeanor and fines, or arrest could be imposed by local law enforcement. The curfew will expire at 5 a.m. on June 11, unless terminated earlier or extended by the City Manager.

The Palo Alto Police Department Non-Emergency 911 Dispatch Center can be reached at 650-329-2413. For emergencies, please dial 911.

For the Curfew Order issued by the City Manager, go here.

For a recent community message of hope issued by from City Manager Ed Shikada, Police Chief Robert Jonsen, Reverend Kaloma Smith, and Pastor Paul Bains, go here.