Over the weekend, there were multiple demonstrations that took place across Orange County in response to the murder of George Floyd. More are planned in the coming days.
While most were peaceful and went without incident, the demonstrations in the cities of Huntington Beach and Santa Ana required police to intervene. In Huntington Beach, while the protests were largely peaceful and there was no property damage, there were a few fistfights breaking out between protesters and counter protesters and at least four arrests. Additionally, water bottles were thrown at police officers trying to keep the peace.
The demonstrations in Santa Ana turned into violent riots. These rioters were looting stores, attacking Santa Ana police officers and Orange County sheriff’s deputies with rocks, fireworks and other explosives with four deputies being injured. There were multiple arrests made.
“We all mourn the unjust murder of George Floyd. In honoring his life, we cannot destroy our own communities, set things on fire, threaten the safety of our families or attack our incredible law enforcement officers,” said Michelle Steel, Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “These thoughtless actions are unacceptable and criminal. I will not tolerate the destruction of Orange County communities and attacks on law enforcement, whom I 100% support.”
“Government’s first and foremost responsibility is ensuring the safety and security of its people, property and businesses. I will make sure our communities are safe from criminal violence. Continued acts of violence and looting will be met with the full force of the law,” added Chairwoman Steel. “As Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, I will look at all the options at my disposal to further enforce law and order in Orange County if these violent riots continue.”
“We can express our grievances to injustices in a peaceful and civil manner, as our first amendment gives Americans the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. That right does not include rioting and looting. This must stop now .”