Orange County law enforcement braced for potential violence Monday evening as police brutality protesters staged gatherings in Anaheim and Costa Mesa.
Two protests in Anaheim merged in front of City Hall before the city began implementing a curfew at 6 p.m. and the crowd of 600 to 700 protesters left, Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer said.
But the protesters appear to be blocking traffic at La Palma Avenue and Anaheim Boulevard, Carringer said.
Costa Mesa declared a curfew from 7 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison ordered the curfew based on social media posts calling for protesters to gather at the South Coast Plaza.
South Coast Plaza, which has been closed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been scheduled to reopen Monday, but that plan was canceled because of the social unrest roiling the nation since the in-custody killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday.
About 200 protesters gathered at Anaheim’s La Palma Park about 3 p.m. and another protest began about 5 p.m. around City Hall, Carringer said.
Protests were held Sunday in Huntington Beach, where an unlawful assembly was declared, as well as in San Clemente and Santa Ana, where police arrested 10 people in Sunday evening on the second consecutive day of demonstrations in that city.
Mayor Miguel Pulido announced a citywide curfew in Santa Ana after 250 to 300 people gathered Sunday night. Some participants hurled fireworks at officers, several stores were looted and a couple of small fires were ignited, according to police.
Two officers were taken to an area hospital, where they were treated and released for minor injuries, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Also on Sunday, a protest broke out at the beach in San Clemente, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. There were heated words between protesters and counter-protesters, but there were no arrests.