L.A. County declares state of emergency after protests

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors cross McBean Parkway at Valencia Boulevard on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Due to the widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, including a peaceful protest on Saturday here in the Santa Clarita Valley, Los Angeles County officials have proclaimed a state of emergency.

“This emergency comes as we are in the midst of battling another emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This taxes our resources, but not our resolve,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District, which includes the SCV, said in a prepared statement Sunday. “We will do everything in our power to keep our communities safe and protect lives and property. I continue to call on our residents to maintain calm and seek solutions productively, not destructively.”

The proclamation states that numerous acts of violence pose “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property,” adding that “damage, looting and arson to public and private property have affected numerous cities and locations throughout the county.”

That being said, the proclamation is expected to facilitate interagency response coordination and mutual aid, accelerating the procurement of vital supplies and enabling future state and federal reimbursement of costs incurred by the county.

“This is a time for us to come together to stand against injustice in ways that will make us stronger as a county and as a nation,’ Barger said. “If you are assembling to protest, please do so peacefully and with respect for all those who are suffering.”

Santa Clarita Station Sheriff’s Deputies deploy at McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Hundreds, ranging in race and age, marched in Santa Clarita Saturday, while many more took part in other protests countywide, nationwide and across the world to march in solidarity against police brutality. 

Across the nation and in Los Angeles, protests turned violent, as police cars and buildings could be seen burning, before the city declared an 8 p.m. curfew Saturday.

Though here in Santa Clarita protesters assembled in front of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station were met with deputies with riot gear, the protests ended peacefully, with no reports of property damage and no arrests having been made as a result of the protest.

On Saturday evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized assistance to the county, proclaiming a state of emergency in the county and approving their request to deploy members of the National Guard to assist L.A. and neighboring communities.

To view the proclamation, click here. To view The Signal’s coverage of the protests, visit signalscv.com/2020/05/black-lives-matter-protesters-hold-down-street-corners-have-peaceful-resolution-with-deputies/.

Santa Clarita Station Sheriff’s Deputies stand guard as hundreds of protestors kneel in front of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station on Magic Mountain Parkway on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

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