Supervisors extend local emergency tied to protests

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Protesters gather at the intersections of Ynez and Rancho California Roads during another day of protests in Temecula. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday extended a local emergency declared by Riverside County’s Emergency Management Department director over civil unrest that erupted amid a June 1 demonstration sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota and long-simmering anger over instances of police brutality.
In a 5-0 vote without comment, the board authorized the state of local emergency to continue for the balance of the month. Additional votes will be required in July to keep the declaration in effect.
“Over recent days, conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have occurred throughout California,” according to the emergency proclamation. “That such conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property may arise within the county … it is ordered that a local emergency exists throughout the county.”
No major protests have occurred since the first week of the month, with the biggest involving about 6,000 people in downtown Riverside, who were part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration condemning police tactics in the wake of Floyd’s death a week earlier.
Smaller and largely peaceful gatherings have occurred in Corona, Temecula, Palm Springs and other locations countywide.
The June 1 uprising in Riverside culminated in a clash with riot squads from the Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Police Department after fireworks were hurled and a crowd refused orders to disperse after a curfew took effect. There were seven arrests and a few minor injuries, according to law enforcement officials.
Several businesses were also vandalized, sustaining graffiti damage, and broken windows.
The proclamation referenced the “looting, arson, and destruction of personal and real property” in neighboring Los Angeles County as validation for ongoing concern in the Inland Empire.
The local emergency status permits the county to seek federal and state aid for riot-related impacts.