Alameda County declares countywide curfew, Berkeley mayor pushes back

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin believes charter cities have the power to declare their own curfews.

On a day when several East Bay cities announced nighttime curfews following a weekend of unrest, Alameda County declared a countywide curfew set to begin at 8 p.m. on Monday night.

As opposed to some local curfews initiated on Monday morning, which are set to run through June 8, the county order ends on June 5.

As head of the Emergency Operations Center, Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern is authorized to declare a local emergency and order a curfew.

Ahern did not make the call unilaterally, according to a county source, but consulted beforehand with the five-person Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle said on Tuesday that he was not aware of the sheriff’s plan prior to its announcement.

The countywide curfew, however, was met swiftly with some criticism by some local officials.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin asserted his city’s independence from the county order. Arreguin issued a statement declaring a two-day curfew to begin on Monday at 8 p.m.

Arreguin raised questions of whether Ahern has the power to force charter cities to comply with his orders. He also asserted that Ahern ignored pleas from some cities who preferred to make their own calls on local curfew orders.

“We’re a Charter City and are subject to emergency orders we issue,” Arreguin tweeted. “I will ask the City Attorney to provide further legal clarification, but our order is different from the Sheriff. He issued this order despite other cities saying that they were going to make their own decisions.”

Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, and Fremont announced curfews over the course of the day on Monday after several faced a night of looting, arson, and violence in their streets on Sunday.