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California City Imposing Curfew During Power Outages To Prevent Crime

Other cities may also impose curfews

By Katy Grimes, October 10, 2019 12:05 pm

The City of Morgan Hill imposed a curfew on its residents lasting from 8 p.m. through 6:30 a.m. Wednesday evening, due to the PG&E power shut offs, KRON4 reported.

City officials on Facebook said the curfew was intended to crack down on pedestrians loitering in areas that are impacted by the shutoff.

At first blush it seemed as if they were imposing Martial Law, making law-abiding citizens remain inside of their homes, rather than focusing on criminals and thieves.

However, California Globe contacted the City of Morgan Hill, and spoke with Sergeant Bill Norman with the Morgan Hill Police Department to find out about the purpose of the curfew, and if something precipitated it.

The curfew was specifically a crime preventative tactic.

“The curfew was two-fold,” Sgt. Norman said. “First, we wanted to make sure people did not get hurt in the dark streets and neighborhoods. Second, we didn’t want the criminal element coming into the town.”

Sgt. Norman said they anticipated that homes and businesses would be preyed upon by criminals looking for easy break-ins during the power outage.

And sure enough, Sgt. Norman said his officers caught and arrested a couple of guys for burglary. He sent the Globe the booking photos of the two.

Chris Gomez arrested in Morgan Hill
Jason Gomez arrested in Morgan Hill

“As the officer was advising the subjects of the curfew, which took effect about 10:30pm when PG&E turned off power to areas of Morgan Hill, he noticed one of the men appeared to have small pieces of broken glass on his clothing, police said,” Morgan Hill Times reported. “A records check found that one subject had a warrant for his arrest, and the other was on searchable probation.”

Officers also found burglary tools and property belonging to an unknown subject. Officers searched the area and found two parked vehicles with broken windows, according to police.

“The stolen property was eventually returned to the victim and both suspects were arrested on a variety of charges to include auto burglary, possession of burglary tools, probation violation and warrants,” a Morgan Hill Police Department press release said.  26-year-old Tracy, Ca resident Chris Gomez and 21-year-old San Jose, Ca resident Jason Gomez were later booked into Santa Clara County Jail.”

“This curfew is for the safety of the community to reduce the opportunity for crime,” the city said on Facebook. “Travel by vehicle and presence on one’s own residential property is fine.”

Several residents were not happy about the city-imposed curfew.

“This is unconstitutional. First it’s MHUSD that infringes on the first amendment, now it is the city itself. Seriously, this city sucks. If I could afford it, I’d move out,” one resident posted on Facebook.

“Unconstitutional. You can’t legally enforce this,” another said.

“Sanctuary city’s are paying for their liberal foolishness,” another posted on Twitter.

Perhaps. However, while Morgan Hill, a town of 43,000, located in Santa Clara County, is not a sanctuary city, all California residents are under siege because of Proposition 47, Proposition 57, and A.B. 109, which reduced a host of felonies to misdemeanors, allowed early release for newly redefined “non-violent offenders,” and shifted responsibility of repeat, newly classified “nonviolent” offenders from state prisons to county jails, as well as releasing others assigned to county probation officers rather than state parole officers.

Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) recently explained: “Forty thousand used to be in custody. Tens of thousands used to be on parole and used to be supervised – and now they are getting away with it.” Ironically and for context, the 40,000 who used to be in custody and are now on the streets is nearly as many people live in Morgan Hill.

California’s sanctuary city and state laws have also served to allow criminal illegal aliens carte-blanche access to innocent citizens, and avoidance of and “sanctuary” from federal immigration officials. This impacts every city in the State of California.

Katy Grimes

Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California's War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?
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One thought on “California City Imposing Curfew During Power Outages To Prevent Crime

  1. Get ready PG&E another round of lawsuits are coming your way, i.e., your fault homes were burglarized, violation of constitutional rights, etc. And you thought the potential liability related to high winds/fires was you worst enemy.

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