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Authorities: First night of American Canyon curfew passes without incident

Authorities: First night of American Canyon curfew passes without incident

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A curfew in American Canyon, announced Tuesday evening in response to looting and civil unrest in several Bay Area cities, passed without reports of public disorder, according to law enforcement agencies.

American Canyon Police Chief Oscar Ortiz reported no cases of public disturbances during the first night of the city’s curfew, which ran from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday and closed roads, parks, shopping centers and parking lots.

A similar order by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office applied to unincorporated areas south of the city of Napa. No disturbances were reported overnight in the county’s curfew zone, which includes areas south of Jameson Canyon Road (Highway 12) and extending east and west to the county limits. No curfews were in effect for the city of Napa or points north.

American Canyon and Napa County announced the curfews shortly after 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, in the wake of looting and rioting that has broken out of protests against police brutality since the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after an arrest in Minneapolis in which an officer was recorded on video leaning his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. The unrest has included looting in Vallejo and Fairfield, as well as an officer-involved shooting in Vallejo early Tuesday morning.

The only arrest in American Canyon during the curfew took place at 1 a.m., for driving under the influence, according to the Napa County jail log.

One property crime occurred overnight, according to Ortiz: the theft at 4 a.m. from outside the Safeway supermarket of a vehicle that was later recovered in Vallejo 2 ½ hours later.

The curfews will resume at 8 p.m. Wednesday and run through 5 a.m. Thursday. Those traveling to and from work, medical and emergency care, or assisting family members are exempt, as are credentialed media members and people who are homeless and staying in one location overnight.

Earlier Tuesday in American Canyon, some 35 mostly teenage protesters staged a demonstration against police violence that began around 2:30 p.m. at Northampton Park and then moved to the corner of Highway 29 and American Canyon Road, according to Ortiz, the police chief. The rally, which included protest signs and chants of “Black Lives Matter,” later moved north along Highway 29 before ending near City Hall around 5:30.

“For me, the story was they were very peaceful and very effective in passing on their message in an adult way,” said Ortiz, who added that marchers never entered roadways or blocked traffic.

The march was one of at least four demonstrations in Napa County to take place since Floyd’s death. On Sunday, more than 300 people gathered in Napa for a downtown rally and a march that lasted 8 ½ hours, extending as far as Lincoln Avenue. In St. Helena, demonstrations took place Monday in Lyman Park and Tuesday at Jacob Meily Park.

You can reach Howard Yune at 707-256-2214 or hyune@napanews.com

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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