California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, June 1.

Lawlessness leads to curfews across California.
Some police leaders join in solidarity with protests.
And many churches reopen for the first time in months.

George Floyd protests


A protester held up flowers while protesting in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd raged in cities across California over the weekend, most dramatically in Los Angeles, where the National Guard was called in. While the demonstrations began peacefully, many exploded into violence, vandalism, and looting. Curfews were imposed in San Diego County, L.A. County, and seven Bay Area cities, among other places. A.P. | L.A. Times


A Walnut Creek police officer helped a woman who was shot on Sunday.

Jose Carlos Fajardo/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Among the outbursts of violence:

A Latino man in his 20s was fatally shot in an area flooded with protesters in Los Angeles Sunday evening. L.A. Times | KTLA
A woman, pictured above, was shot in the arm in Walnut Creek on Sunday as the city was overtaken by frenzied looting. S.F. Chronicle | Mercury News
An SUV drove into a crowd of protesters in San Jose on Saturday. A 26-year-old woman was booked on suspicion of attempted murder. San Jose Inside | Mercury News
In Visalia, a jeep plowed into two women on Saturday. Witnesses said the driver had taunted protesters while displaying a Trump flag. Visalia Times-Delta | Fresno Bee

Someone vandalized a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles saw some of the nation's most raucous clashes on Saturday, as dozens of shops were vandalized and nearly 400 people were arrested. By Sunday, military humvees full of National Guard troops had fanned out across the city after being summoned by Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It breaks my heart, too, to think about the Angelenos protesting in peace and fighting for justice how this violence and looting clouds that picture,” he said. L.A. Times | LAist | L.A. Daily News

“I was here for Rodney [King],” a 76-year-old woman said. “Nothing has changed.” L.A. Times | Twitter

Here's a crazy video of the chaos in L.A.'s Fairfax District on Saturday. Twitter (38 secs)


People ran with items looted from a clothing store in Long Beach on Sunday.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Fresh rounds of looting broke out on Sunday in Long Beach and Santa Monica, prompting both cities to call in the National Guard.

In Santa Monica, initially peaceful protests gave way to unbridled theft, as people targeted stores near the popular Third Street Promenade. A woman trying to guard an REI was shoved aside. KTLA | Santa Monica Mirror
In Long Beach, hundreds of people descended on a waterfront entertainment district, using hammers and trash cans to break into businesses. Some protesters urged them to stop. “Let’s hit Nike,” others yelled. L.A. Times | Long Beach Post

In San Diego County, the community of La Mesa saw intense rioting Saturday night that transformed the downtown into something resembling a combat zone. Businesses big and small were attacked and looted. Several cars and a Chase Bank branch were set on fire. Police responded with flash bangs and tear gas. KPBS | S.D. Union-Tribune

In San Diego, hundreds of protesters on Sunday blocked the I-5 in both directions. S.D. Union-Tribune | Times of San Diego


In many cases, business owners were dismayed to be targeted even as they felt common cause with the protesters. The owner of a vandalized eyeglasses shop in Sacramento choked back tears: “I know why people are upset. Just taking it to this level, it’s just a little bit much." Sacramento Bee

"We only want to be treated like people." A young protester explained why she believed the destruction is necessary. YouTube/ABC7


Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills knelt with protesters on Saturday. "SCPD is fully supportive of peaceful protests," the department tweeted.

Even as tense confrontations unfolded between cops and protesters, a number of law enforcement leaders across California spoke out, marched, and even knelt in solidarity with the protesters. A few examples:

In Eureka, the county sheriff joined in chants of "No justice, no peace, no racist police." Twitter/North Coast Journal
In Oakland, police officers kneeled with a group of protesters. Cheers erupted. Twitter/Joanna Robinson
In a remarkable moment captured on video, Los Angeles's police chief made peace with protesters by agreeing that Floyd's death was murder. TMZ

Other protest developments:

Thousands of people demanded the firing of a San Jose police officer who appeared to be enjoying targeting protesters. “Let’s get this motherf—er,” he shouted. Mercury News | San Jose Inside
After the mayhem unleashed Saturday, volunteer cleanup crews woke up Sunday and got to work reclaiming their neighborhoods. Voice of OC | LAist
L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez: "Schools are not equal. Healthcare is not equal. Criminal justice is not equal. And black Americans just keep dying at the hands of police.



"It’s part of our faith to be together."

Many churches across California reopened for the first time in months on Sunday. Under state guidelines houses of worship can host congregations as long as they limit their size, a restriction upheld Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court. Even so, a church in Fresno defied the order, allowing as many as 350 people to gather. Fresno Bee | YourCentralValley


Yosemite Valley School, lower right, teaches the children of Yosemite’s staff.

Jamie Richards/National Park Service via AP

Along with the bears and bobcats, another sort of creature has had Yosemite all to themselves for the past three months: The children of Yosemite Valley School. The only school inside the park has three classrooms and 35 students in K-8th grades. "Their school is tucked in a meadow overlooking Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in America and a fine sight to see while playing kickball." A.P.


Many small businesses in Los Angeles refused to close after the county's mid-March “Safer at Home“ order. To avoid detection they've kept the lights off, told prospective clients to use back doors, and allowed just one client on-site at a time. "This is what the new Prohibition looks like." Politico Magazine


Other coronavirus developments:

Emails revealed how Elon Musk's brash public style contrasted with civil exchanges between Bay Area and company officials over the reopening of his Tesla factory. MarketWatch
An Elk Grove kindergarten teacher's epic Zoom performances for her students are making her internet famous. This one has nearly half a million views. YouTube/Miss Kissingers Korner
With more than 100,000 cases, it's become clearer where Californians are most likely to get infected: nursing homes, jails, food processing plants, and social gatherings. Mercury News

Homeless tents at a sanctioned camp across from City Hall in San Francisco on May 22.

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The New Yorker published a searing account of homelessness in San Francisco: "Homelessness is where the most acute American nightmares of this era meet, and San Francisco has a way of making what is hidden elsewhere visible. Ever since the recent tech boom turned life in the city upside down, all the paraphernalia of American society — the wads of cash, the access keys, the drugs, the nubs of ideology — has been spilling out of San Francisco’s pockets, into an enormous pile on the street." New Yorker


One study of foster youth found that nearly a third become homeless by their early 20s. That's one reason that Santa Clara County this month will become the nation's first county to provide basic income to young people transitioning out of foster care. The taxpayer-funded pilot program will give $1,000 a month for a year to 72 young adults — no strings attached. "This job of parenting doesn’t end at 18 years old," a county supervisor said. Fast Company | Chronicle of Social Change


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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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