Throwback: When Protests Made Irvine Block Off Irvine Spectrum Center

The Irvine Spectrum.

In May 2020, Irvine appeared to have taken precautions against rioting and looting after a video on social media showed boarded up Irvine Market Place’s shops.

As per a report, there was a big police force present at the shopping center in the Irvine district. The Irvine Spectrum Center’s security office members refused to reply to a request for comments from Irvine Weekly when that report came out. Every entry to the shopping center appeared closed off back then.

While the local police department said on Twitter that it got several inquiries from Irvine inhabitants about curfew, there was no curfew established for Irvine.

This followed a peaceful day for those who gathered around Irvine City Hall to protest the demise of African-American George Floyd at around the same time. Many of those protesters were supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. Floyd passed away during his detention by Minneapolis’s law enforcement officers. A cop named Derek Chauvin faced many charges in connection with the African-American person’s death.

The Chief of Irvine Police Department, Mike Hamel took to Facebook to support the peaceful protest, plus caution against vandalism and violence. In his Facebook post, Hamel said that if more protests happened in Irvine city, the police department would try to preserve the Amendment I right of everyone who wanted to make their voice heard. The department would support the nonviolent action, but would not tolerate public protest participants who destruct property or use violence, Hamel said.

Mayor of Irvine Christina Shea issued a community update about the matter.

Cities throughout the United States of America wondered how to react to all the unrest and protest that prevailed at that time.

Following some days of mostly peaceful demonstrations, marked sometimes by clashes and looting, there was a curfew in LA County. Before it, Governor of California Gavin Newsom declared an emergency in Los Angeles, plus he approved the mayor’s request for US army support.

Orange County had not witnessed that much unrest back in those days, but there were Sunday night curfews in parts of its Huntington Beach city as well as Santa Ana.