BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Hills charged 25 protesters in a June demonstration with curfew violation on Monday, August 24, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In the protests that have been continuing for several months, hundreds of protesters have been prosecuted for misdemeanors including curfew violation and dispersal orders violation by Police in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Monica. Public health officials criticized that unmasked police officers detaining people might have caused the spread of COVID-19, said the Los Angeles Times.
This policy goes against the decisions by Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles not to charge protesters arrested with violation of curfew or dispersal orders.
“We are going to treat these prosecutions the same as we treat other prosecutions that are violations of the municipal code,” city spokesman Keith Sterling commented to the Los Angeles Times. He added “The public safety benefits are the same benefits of any prosecutions.”
Sterling told the Los Angeles Times that neither Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman nor the City Council was instrumental in the decision about the charges. Beverly Hills contracts with the law firms such as Dapeer, Rosenblit and Litvak who make decisions about prosecution, as it does not have a city attorney’s office.
Beverly Hills was criticized for arresting 28 protesters and holding them up to four hours during the protest. James Butler, a founder Black Future Project was arrested during the protest, and he confessed to the Los Angeles Times that he was in the city jail for 22 hours and could not get any food nor medical care for several hours. The Beverly Hills police report said Butler fainted for a while when he was in jail.
“Many of the community have experienced untold atrocities before they fled their countries to come to the United States,” a police officer said in the report. “Many lost their families to mobs who took them from homes during the cover of darkness and executed them in the streets during the Iranian Revolution and the genocide of the Jews.” The Los Angeles Times reported that Sterling said the report is based on the opinions of the residents who live around where the protest occurred. On the other hand, Butler criticized the fact that police compared nonviolent Beverly Hills protest to the Holocaust containing violence.