In the wake of protests following the shooting death of a homeless Black man by an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, the San Clemente City Council on Thursday afternoon voted 3-1 to declare an emergency curfew starting at 9 pm tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.
The curfew will be for three areas of town: the Pier Bowl, Avenida Del Mar and along El Camino Real. The City Council agreed to reconvene in a special meeting Friday at 5:30 p.m. to decide whether to extend the curfew further into the weekend.
“There is intelligence out there to be concerned about what could occur over the weekend,” said Councilman Gene James. “We must act in (an) abundance of caution.”
Also Thursday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department released a grainy photo that he said shows the man reaching for a deputy’s service weapon during a fight, shortly before he was shot and killed by a deputy.
Hours after demonstrators gathered in San Clemente to call for the firing of the deputies involved in the death of Kurt Andras Reinhold, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes during a news conference on Thursday afternoon urged people to reserve judgment until the killing can be investigated.
Two deputies with a homeless outreach team encountered Reinhold, 42, around 1:15 Wednesday near the Hotel Miramar. Reinhold had come to the San Clemente area around 30 days prior, and members of the homeless outreach team had attempted on previous occasions to “try to establish a dialogue” with him to offer homeless services, the sheriff said.
Barnes said he could not comment on why the deputies contacted Reinhold on Wednesday, or on what led to the physical altercation. The sheriff did not identify the deputies, but said they were both trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.
A security camera from the hotel reportedly captured at least part of the altercation. The sheriff’s department did not release the video, but did put out a blurry, grainy screenshot that Barnes described as showing Reinhold reaching for a deputies’ gun.
“It was a struggle that went on for some time,” Barnes said.
One deputy fired twice at Reinhold, the sheriff confirmed.
The sheriff declined to comment on whether the deputies had a lawful reason to detain Reinhold, noting that the deputies and some witnesses have yet to be interviewed.
Barnes said he was not aware of any operations on Wednesday targeting jaywalking in San Clemente. Some community members earlier in the day said they believed the deputies encounter with Reinhold was tied to such a jaywalking crackdown.
Nearly 80 people gathered Thursday morning in San Clemente, some calling for the arrest and firing of the two Orange County sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting of Reinhold. Demonstrators held up signs, stating: “Stop killing black people” and “Blue lives do not exist. Being a cop is a choice, the color of your skin is not.”
Longtime San Clemente resident Terri Plunkett was one of the demonstrators.
“I’m so outraged, I didn’t know if I should fight or cry, “ she said. “I knew this is where I need to be.”
Danielle Marvin drove to San Clemente from her La Habra home and echoed that the shooting left her emotional.
“I’m just so sad,” she said. “I feel like they should better know how to handle these situations. They need to know how to care for someone instead of just pulling the trigger.”
“Just so you know, San Clemente, the revolution has come to your doorstep,” said Pujay Robinson, a former San Clemente resident who is half black and half white. “This gentleman was failed on so many fronts. He was homeless, and homeless outreach killed him.”
The shooting and resulting demonstrations come as the relationship between law enforcement in Southern California, and across the nation, has frayed. Barnes during his news conference asked that those who turn out to demonstrate “do so peacefully and in compliance with the law.”
The shooting is being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, as is routine for shootings involving law enforcement officers.
Source: Orange County Register