LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The ACLU Foundation of Southern California Wednesday filed an emergency lawsuit on behalf of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, journalists, protesters and others impacted by curfews imposed throughout the region after widespread protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

For complete coverage of the situation in Minneapolis visit CBSMinnesota.com and stream CBSN Minnesota

The ACLU alleged that the curfews violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that the restrictions on movement outside working hours violated the Constitution’s protection of freedom of movement.

“The city and county of Los Angeles are attempting to use these curfews to suppress Black Lives Matter – L.A.’s right to protest,” Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM L.A., said in a statement. “They are attempting to suppress our ability to fully mobilize and focus full attention on the true issue of concern in the protests — police violence against Black people.”

According to the ACLU, the curfews also prohibited people from going grocery shopping, taking part in recreational activities, visiting loved ones and, in some cases, seeking medical treatment. The ACLU also said the widespread curfews have made it difficult for journalists to fully report stories.

The curfews have also prohibited a massive swath of entirely innocuous activity, including grocery shopping, recreational activities, visiting loved ones, and in some cases even seeking medical treatment, the ACLU said.

And, according to the ACLU, curfew orders have made it extremely difficult for many journalists — already under siege by police at rallies — from being able to fully report their stories.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in L.A. on behalf of BLM-LA and individual plaintiffs, including:

  • Kimberly Beltran Villalobos, a student cited for curfew violations in both unincorporated L.A. County, where she lives, and in downtown L.A., where she was peacefully protesting. The ACLU said one citation came when Villalobos was moving her car to avoid a parking ticket.
  • Tom Dolan, the executive director of Inland Congregations United for Change, who the ACLU said was leading students in a peaceful protest that tried to follow the curfew rules, but the rules kept changing. Dolan lives in San Bernardino.
  • Lexis Olivier Ray, a housing and justice reporter for L.A. Taco who the ACLU said has been covering the protests and has observed other journalists being detained and arrested for violating the curfew while doing their jobs and fears he will be arrested.
  • Eric Stith, a software engineer who the ACLU said lives miles away from any civil unrest in Palmdale and simply wished to be able to go outside at night.

“These unconstitutional curfews have suppressed a huge amount of important political protest activity and disrupted the lives of over 10 million people,” Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel of the ACLU SoCal, said. “The curfews must end now.”

Defendants named in the lawsuit include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and San Bernardino police Chief Eric McBride.

The full lawsuit can be read online.

Comments (6)
  1. Ivette says:

    So what This people want is for all the citizens to be exposed to the violence of so many of these protesters that are vandalizing the stores and even homes they are destroying stealing ,and now they are suing on top of that I cannot believe it.

    1. Arthur Smith says:

      Also dont forget the $250 million thats going to poor neighborhoods by cutbacks for law enforcement… Some of these officers who risked their life, were belittled and berated, hit with bottles fireworks rocks and other things and had to show much restraint.. will lose their job so the city can give that money to the people that caused the situation to begin with…The cops are the heros in LA. They should be commended not fired..

      1. Mandy Fox says:

        i completley agrree with you, but we live in a state full of morons who put the wrong people in charge because they are to ignorant to think for themselves, or to at least verify any information they are giving before accepting it as truth. This is LA, this city is full of sheep who do whatever is cool or trending,the ones who are vain, care about looks, are fake as hell, rude, and disrespectful. i stand with the officers.

  2. Mandy Fox says:

    Why have they sues for us to re-open our businesses in LA county? And what about our constitutional right to gather in groups, like at these protests that are going on?!? help us out ACLU!!!

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