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County closing at 3 p.m.; Supervisors speak out on current events
San Bernardino County offices will close at 3 p.m. today so local law enforcement can focus on any public safety issues that may arise in the community given the unrest that has taken place locally and throughout the country.
Although there is not a countywide curfew, several cities in the county have enacted their own curfew and residents are urged to check with their own cities to determine if there are curfews.
In light of the extraordinary events of the last several days, members of the Board of Supervisors shared their thoughts and sentiments and called for peace and consideration of lives, livelihoods and property.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, Fourth District
“All of us within the County of San Bernardino are experiencing a mix of emotions as we come out of a weekend that saw both the best and worst of our citizenry. Our country is hurting right now. On one hand, we are deeply disturbed by the senseless killing of George Floyd and we can understand and support the message from peaceful assemblies across the county. But this weekend also saw people who took advantage of lawful protests to initiate terrible, senseless violence and destruction not only here in San Bernardino, but nationwide.
“We can’t adequately express our condolences for all of the pain and loss so many are experiencing. We believe in the right to peacefully assemble and we recognize that many important advances in our country have been made over the years through lawful protest.
“Amongst the sadness, anger, and violence, I have also seen the good. Community members trying to clean up the destruction, gather donations, and offer places of refuge. Officers trying to bridge the gap between them and their communities, and government officials working with community leaders to come up with solutions.
“We have faith in the leadership of Sheriff John McMahon, a longtime resident of the County who has been elected to his position since 2014, as well as the many city police departments in the county. We know that they will be on hand at these events to protect our citizens’ First Amendment rights and to ensure our residents can safely assemble, speak out, and grieve together.
“We are grateful for the sacrifice and efforts of all those who work to pursue justice, equality and opportunity for all Americans and thank residents who continue to reach out, speak up, and take part in worthy causes. I pray for unity amongst our communities and those affected by this tragedy.”
Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Josie Gonzales, Fifth District
“As emotional, and at times disturbing as this weekend’s events have been, I choose to see this as an opportunity for us to come together to truly address the systemic racism that has disadvantaged a specific segment of our American family. I do not condone the violence and the looting that has hurt many of our businesses, especially our small businesses that already have been crippled by COVID-19. But the outcry we hear is not just outrage over the killing of Mr. George Floyd. It is about Ahmaud Arbrey, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean, and too many other African American men, women, and children who have died violently and unnecessarily as the result of an economic structure that once saw African Americans as property and has yet to fully see them in an equal, humane light.
“Tomorrow, leaders of our community will come to the County’s Government Center to ask us to listen, to begin the dialogue, and to initiate change right here in San Bernardino County. This will be an opportunity to have ongoing conversations about the real issues African Americans face and how we can work together to erase inequities and disparities that impact their lives. I look forward to being part of the discussion.”
Supervisor Janice Rutherford, Second District
“I am heartbroken for our nation. I ache for my friends, neighbors and family who have been touched by racism, hatred, ignorance. I ache for those law enforcement officers who genuinely have hearts of service and are trying to protect our community from looters. I ache for the centuries and decades of oppression, mistrust, and miscommunication that have led us to this point.
“I hope that out of the ashes of this anger, we are able to engage in more honest conversations, to truly listen, and to find actions we can take together that allow everyone to both feel and be equal before the law and in the eyes of each other.”
Supervisor Robert Lovingood, First District
“I am disheartened by the violence unfolding in cities across our nation that is not reflective of the purpose and reason the many protestors have assembled in unity to voice their concerns and unrest.
“The criminal element of looting and violence is not welcomed. It causes everyone to suffer and brings nothing good for our communities and families. I stand with our community and faith-based leaders in a call for unity as we hear the cries of many and stand together against the violence.”
Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Third District
“I encourage residents of our county to exercise their freedom of speech and right to assemble peacefully. However, looters and rioters who use these protests as a distraction while they destroy our local businesses, many of which are owned by immigrants and people of color, will be arrested and prosecuted.
“I support bringing attention to the unnecessary death of George Floyd, but not at the expense of hard-working, small business owners.”