Chief Bill Scott speaks at press conference on Sunday 5-31-20

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott urged San Franciscans to abide by an indefinite curfew that will go into effect at 8 p.m. Sunday night, noting most San Franciscans could be cited — or even arrested — if they’re out past the cutoff time. 

Stay at home,” Scott repeated over and over again during a Sunday morning press conference. 

The announcement first came around 11 p.m. last night as the city’s peaceful protests of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis devolved into looting, fires, and attacks on police and civilians. Similar chaos is taking place throughout the Bay Area and the country. 

Scott and Mayor London Breed said that 200 additional state law enforcement officers will be deployed to San Francisco. 

Following the press conference, the mayor sent out a list of specific exemptions to the curfew:

  • Peace officers, firefighters, other City and County employees engaged in authorized emergency operations, members of the National Guard, or any other responding personnel deployed to the City and County;
  • Individuals who can establish to the satisfaction of a peace officer that they are in such place for the sole purpose of traveling to a home or workplace or to obtain medical assistance;
  • Authorized representatives of any news service, newspaper, radio or television station or network, or other media organization;
  • People experiencing homelessness.

“Until we see that the situation is under control,” Breed said, “we will allow the curfew to remain.” 

Breed and Scott both said they will allow peaceful protests to continue during the day. They recognized the importance of people’s pain and their right to “express” themselves peacefully. As African Americans, the mayor and police chief said the video of George Floyd touched them personally. 

“The thing that was the most disturbing is when he called out for his mother,” Breed said of the video an officer pinning Floyd under his knee as Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” 

“That is what we know is at the heart of the protests,” Breed said.  

Officials said that protests in San Francisco on Saturday remained peaceful during the day, but as night fell, “things began to heat up,” Scott said. He reported that there were attacks on police officers, firebombs thrown into businesses, and businesses destroyed and looted. Despite the pandemonium, he reported no injuries. 

Much of the looting and destruction appeared to take place downtown and along Market Street. A CVS at Market and 2nd was looted, as well as portions of the Westfield mall. 

Protests that passed through the Mission during the day remained peaceful, despite tense standoffs with police at a 13th Street freeway onramp. 

Scott said police made 10 felony arrests, and detained many others.  “Last night our primary object was to save lives,” he said. 

San Francisco Fire Department Chief Jeanine Nicholson said that the firefighters had to extinguish “dozens and dozens” of fires to businesses, cars, and on the street throughout the city on Saturday night. 

“We responded to 250 medical calls,” she said. “Many of those were a result of the violence.”

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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11 Comments

  1. A Mayor under investigation for corruption, having taken an illegal payment from a subordinate, Imposing martial law right as the recall embargo ends.

    London Breed has squandered her scientific and political credibility. It is time for her to go.

    If you were looking for a constructive place to direct your pent up angers and energies: RECALL LONDON BREED.

  2. Breed has been exhibiting authoritarian tendencies for quite a while now. She may feel all-powerful because she never had to win a competitive election; she was appointed by a one-party system and ran essentially unopposed. This is not a government by the people, and certainly not for the people.

    Democracy works only when the government has the consent of the governed, and Breed never earned that consent. This is probably why she is willing to resort to police-state tactics.

    If this continues, it may well be time to take legal action.

    1. It is not Breed’s fault that nobody credible ran against her. You can only beat the team in front of you.

      SF voters have been electing mayors in that mold for nearly 40 years now. The voters actually prefer a moderate mayor

      The simplest way to end the curfew is to end the rioting and looting.

  3. Authoritarian power grab! If they actually cared, they’d just say nobody on Market and Union square. Sheeple wake up!

    1. Pretty sure riots are not penned in to downtown locations. They can spread.

      It’s not like you have to stay there. Leave. We did for the duration of the covid 19 virus and love the small Texas town we’re staying in for the interim. It’s the beautiful part about living in a free country. You can leave the place you complain about so much. No one is stopping you.

      1. The amount of unchecked privilege in this reply is OVERWHELMING. Do you think everyone has the financial freedom or physical ability to uproot and move to another state? They do not. Try putting yourself in others shoes instead of expecting everyone else to be able to fit into yours. You are the problem.

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