Protests, mayhem continue, lead to more California curfews

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A woman cries as she watches a building burn after a protest over the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, in La Mesa, Calif. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

LOS ANGELES – Armed National Guard soldiers lined the steps of Los Angeles City Hall and cities across California declared curfews Sunday to head off more violence after unruly demonstrators at earlier protests burned police cars, broke into stores and skirmished with officers.

In more than 20 cities, thieves smashed their way into businesses and ran off with as much as they could carry — boxes of sneakers, armloads of clothes and cellphones and TVs.

Nearly 400 people were arrested in Los Angeles from unrest Saturday as protests have become increasingly violent over several nights because of outrage over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, Police Chief Michel Moore said.

Moore said he hoped the National Guard and additional officers deployed would help. But before the sun set, there was brazen theft in Santa Monica and Long Beach even while nearby protests were mostly peaceful.

Violence statewide include an arm wound suffered by a gunshot victim in Walnut Creek.

In Sacramento, where no curfew was imposed, nightfall brought more violence and destruction at businesses in the city’s midtown area and near the Capitol after a largely peaceful daytime protest. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at those who ignored orders to leave.

Across the state, devastated shop owners cleaned up.

In Emeryville, across the bay from San Francisco, where thieves stormed malls late Saturday, Keyla Calderon swept up glass outside the medical scrubs shop Uniform Advantage.