Protestors gathered at Dublin’s Emerald Glen Park Monday afternoon in solidarity against police brutality in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis black man who died while in police custody.
Approximately 500 peaceful demonstrators walked from Emerald Glen Park up to the intersection of Dublin Boulevard and Dougherty Road, many holding signs and chanting “George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter.” Dublin Mayor David Haubert took a knee with the crowd, and the participants observed 8 minutes of silence. From there, the crowd marched to Dublin City Hall, then back to Emerald Glen Park.
“During the planned protest that took place in Dublin on Monday, Dublin Police worked with the protest organizers to ensure that the participants had a safe and welcoming experience,” Dublin Councilmember Melissa Hernandez said, referring to the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office officers who were on scene at the time. “The actions of Dublin Police have been above reproach, as they have kept the safety and security of all Dublin residents in mind.”
On Tuesday, June 2, a similar protest took place in downtown Livermore on South Livermore Avenue, where dozens of demonstrators converged in a nonviolent assembly.
Two young women, high school students Alex Miller and Hailey Johnson, were responsible for organizing that demonstration, which involved collaboration with members of the city council and the police department. Alex said the police called her the morning of the event to ask if they were planning to stick to the sidewalks and to see if they needed anything. The Livermore protestors also observed 8 minutes of silence in the intersection at South Livermore Avenue and First Street.
While both events were peaceful, musters and threats of looting and violence in other areas caused the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office to issue a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. effective through June 5.
The proclamation reads, “Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern, as the county’s Director of Emergency Services, finds that, in the days immediately following the tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property arose as a result of civil unrest that has resulted in numerous acts of violence, … a curfew is necessary to preserve the public order and safety in the county.”
The Tri-Valley police were out in force over the weekend and early this week creating a presence at local retail establishments rumored to be possible targets of looting, including Stoneridge Mall and the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore. As of press time, none of the businesses had reported any damage.
One Livermore resident, Kelly Homan, who went to the Fallon Gateway in Dublin Monday afternoon, was surprised to find the Target and Dick Sporting Goods stores closed.
“I had heard that some of the other areas had closed but had no idea it was happening here,” said Homan. “It was a very strange thing to see.”
On June 2, the Livermore Police Department issued the following statement on social media after the first night of the imposed curfew: “We had no reports of civil unrest, looting or vandalism in our city, and the Livermore Police Department will continue our increased staffing and increased high visibility patrols for as long as it takes.”
Livermore Police Sergeant Steve Goard said the community support for the department has been welcome and gratifying.
“The community response has been fantastic,” Goard said. “They are still waving at us, still smiling and I’m not going to lie, it’s been very nice and reassuring and just goes to show what a special community we live in.”
In Pleasanton, a peaceful protest is scheduled for Friday, June 5, in front of Amador Valley High School. The police department issued the following statement Tuesday on social media:
“Fortunately, we have not seen any civil unrest at this time and have additional staffing roaming the city to protect critical infrastructure. We are committed to helping our community and are aware of the peaceful protest planned for Friday. We've reached out to the organizer to ensure the anticipated event is safe, peaceful, and a success for all involved.”