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LAPD files 37 complaints against businesses for violating coronavirus closure rules

LAPD clears people from using the skate park at Venice Beach during the coronavirus pandemic on Monday in Venice Beach.
LAPD clears people from using the skate park at Venice Beach during the coronavirus pandemic on Monday in Venice Beach.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Monday that officers have filed 37 total complaints against businesses that have not complied with the city’s sweeping coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

Those complaints will lead to fines and potential criminal prosecutions, Moore said.

“This is not just irresponsible,” Moore said. “It is not only endangering themselves but their employees and everyone else in that community and I am proud of City Atty. [Mike] Feuer and of his work and the prosecution of those individuals.”

On Friday, Los Angeles prosecutors filed criminal charges against two smoke shops, a shoe store and a discount electronics retailer, accusing them of refusing to shut down despite orders imposed to fight the coronavirus. It marked the first time the city has filed charges for violations of the “Safer at Home” order, which requires businesses deemed nonessential to close their doors to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Feuer on Friday said the four stores were deemed nonessential businesses under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s executive order.

Feuer’s office identified the businesses charged as Business Discount Electronics, 556 S. Broadway; Hot Box Smoke Shop, 9115 S. Western Ave.; DTLA Smoke Shop, 223 1/2 W. 6th St.; and Brother Shoes, 818 W. Slauson Ave., Unit B. Calls to the businesses went unanswered.

Other jurisdictions are following suit, focusing on those who refused to stay away from closed areas.

Deputies across San Diego County and police officers in San Diego and Carlsbad issued 52 citations for violations of the state’s stay-home order, which is intended to keep the public indoors to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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The tickets are subject to misdemeanor charges that carry potential fines of up to $1,000, up to six months of jail time or both.

San Diego police issued 10 citations in Ocean Beach, including two at Dog Beach and three at Robb Field Skate Park. One citation was issued in the Sunset Cliffs area and five in Balboa Park.

Under Los Angeles’ Safer at Home order, all nonessential businesses are supposed to close.

What stays open:

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  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services

What is closed:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention centers
  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Many parks, beaches, trails, recreation areas
  • All other nonessential businesses

David Hernandez of the San Diego Union-Tribune contributed to this report.


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