LA protesters won’t be prosecuted for violating curfew

Caskets are laid out in the shape of a cross during a protest in Los Angeles yesterday. (AP pic)

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles city attorney said Monday that his office will not prosecute thousands of people arrested at peaceful protests against police brutality for breaking curfew hours or failure to disperse.

Instead, city attorney Mike Feuer’s office said that “a non-punitive approach, outside of the court system”, has been developed “to handle all violations arising from the recent protests that do not involve violence, looting or vandalism”.

Feuer and his team came up with the plan following the arrests of demonstrators for curfew violations “and failure to disperse/failure to follow a lawful order”, his office said in a statement.

“Peaceful protest is profoundly important, and these protests have rekindled a long-overdue effort to change hearts, minds and institutions,” Feuer said.

“We can’t let this moment pass as we have too many times before.”

Feuer said his office is developing an approach that will bring together demonstrators, law enforcement and other community members “to directly share their experiences”.

“We also hope to facilitate listening and learning that goes even further, as the underlying issues of racial inequality, bias and abuse widely impact many aspects of our society,” the statement said.

Details are still being worked out, but Feuer expects the approach to be implemented starting “later this summer”.

Los Angeles police chief Michel Moore supported Feuer’s plan.

“Resolving these violations through alternative methods is a productive and appropriate way to address these offenses, and will have lasting positive effects on our community,” Moore said in the statement.