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LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Police Power Expanded for Curfew Arrests

Preparing for a possible repeat of last year’s riots, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment to Los Angeles County’s curfew ordinance that expands the power of police to arrest curfew violators.

The board voted to remove a provision from the county ordinance that allowed authorities to arrest curfew violators only if they threatened to “imperil lives or property,” or hinder police and fire crews.

Under the amendment approved Tuesday, authorities can arrest someone merely for being on the streets after dark when a curfew is declared. The board also voted to include provisions protecting the homeless from arbitrary arrest. The Board of Supervisors can impose the curfew countywide.

The city of Los Angeles adopted a similar amendment to its curfew law this month. Both the city and county actions came in response to an appellate court ruling that overturned the convictions of three people arrested during last spring’s unrest.

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