Chief Scott talking about curfew
SFPD Chief Bill Scott called Sunday 'a very good day,' thank in part to 208 mutual aid officers from throughout California who reinforced his department. Photo taken June 2020.

San Francisco’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will continue indefinitely after a destructive Sunday night — albeit one police Chief Bill Scott described as a huge improvement over a chaotic Saturday. 

“Yesterday was a good day,” the chief said during a public safety press conference this morning. He said 10 people were arrested last night for alleged looting; overall, 19 cases have been presented to the District Attorney for charging. 

In addition to that, 87 people were last night arrested for violating the city’s curfew, and 33 more people were cited in the Civic Center area, with more citations elsewhere. “Overall, though, yesterday was a very good day,” affirmed the chief. “Particularly compared to Saturday.” 

The chief said that protests of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota — and of police violence writ large — drew perhaps 5,000 or more people to the streets on Saturday. While largely nonviolent, the chief said that two officers were assaulted during the day — one with a skateboard and one with a stun gun-like device. Arrests were made in those instances. 

The chief also said that several Molotov cocktails were tossed at officers over the last two days. “We have had people who have come and been in protests to create chaos and were there to take advantage,” he said. 

As proof, he cited a firearm and backpack full of fireworks that were confiscated from arrestees last night. He also said officers seized bolt-cutters and other tools used specifically for breaking-and-entering — and that police witnessed a van unloading bricks to toss at officers. 

Scott said 208 additional officers drawn from state agencies via mutual aid were a difference-maker Sunday night — a move that the chief said led his officers to have “a sparkle in their eye.” Officers from as far off as Santa Barbara and the state’s extreme north were on the streets of San Francisco Sunday night. 

That was a marked change from Saturday, when he described the San Francisco Police Department as “overwhelmed.” 

On Saturday, numerous fires were lit and heavy vandalism and looting took place in the Downtown-Chinatown-Union Square-SoMa areas. 

Scott, like all the speakers at Monday morning’s press conference, lavished praise upon Mayor London Breed, who was not present. He also repeatedly complimented her decision to impose a curfew on San Francisco residents. 

“We’ve been given the tools to do our jobs, and the curfew is another tool,” he said. “I understand how restrictive this is. It’s almost unprecedented in this city, but it’s something we have to do to keep order in these times.” 

Also speaking were Department of Emergency Management director Mary Ellen Carroll, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, and Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson. 

It is not clear if any quantitative measures need to be met before the curfew is rescinded. Scott only noted the need for “order” to return to the city. 

“If people want to express themselves, we welcome you to San Francisco,” he said. “We need you to do it peacefully.” 

And, of course, be gone by 8 p.m. 

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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  1. Mission Local: can you please do a daily piece on the curfew like you do for new COVID cases? I don’t know how else to tell if the curfew is still in effect in SF. Thanks.

  2. All the speakers lavished praise upon the decision to repress the righteous anger of the people.

  3. If the SFPD were interested at all in cooling things off and working for real change with the protesters, they would emulate the Flint MI cops who took off their helmets and riot gear and marched arm and arm with the protesters, protesting police brutality because they do not support murderous behavior by their fellow officers and it is not what they signed up to do. A good step forward would be joining with community activists and others to demand the state legislature rescind state laws that have protected bad cops for much too long.

  4. Does no one else have a feeling of dread when they hear an indefinite curfew? This is true authoritarianism and it disgusts me. There is a systemic rot that happens when you militarize and empower a group of of people over an underclass. They consider themselves above us and therefore can exert violence and pressure to whatever degree they want in the name of keeping order. Liberals and conservatives alike lap it up

  5. Yesterday I saw about 30 Merced Sheriff’s Vehicles driving in formation down Cesar Chavez from I-280, “Outside Agitators” brought in by the Mayor. You know some of those central valley cops are itching to use force.

    Here’s hoping Chesa drops all charges against protestors and prosecutes any police who use force.