SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With Sacramento rolling out an 8 p.m. curfew until at least Monday, June 8, hundreds of National Guardsmen have been deployed to help enforce it.
According to the City of Sacramento, 500 National Guard troops were called in to Sacramento to "protect key buildings," some of which were damaged after a weekend of looting and vandalism. Dozens were seen protecting the Capitol and Stanley Mosk Library and other structures in Downtown.
It's serving as a stern reminder for Sacramentans and demonstrators of the city's response to violent and unlawful protests. According to Police Chief Daniel Hahn, the guard is in the city to provide support to local law enforcement, which helps free up resources and officers. The troops are not patrolling our streets, but instead helping prevent more damage so that officers concentrate on the actual police work, he said.
In the last few days, soldiers on the streets have made it clear to locals that they are here to protect. ABC10 witnessed when a soldier told a Sacramento resident that they are here to protect life first and property second.
“We signed up in order to protect your right to do this,” he said.
Some locals are thankful for the presence of the guard in the streets of Sacramento, some offering soldiers food and water.
"I appreciate their stability and their safety to make sure that we do things the right way and the peaceful way versus destroying a city,” Amanda Cameron told ABC10.
However, some aren’t as thankful for their presence and say they feel threatened.
"I think it actually makes us feel like they're against us and it just doesn't feel safe,” a protester said.
Currently, troops are spread throughout Sacramento but have also been seen in other nearby areas like El Dorado Hills, protecting buildings there. About 4,500 members of the National Guard have been activated statewide. The governor’s finance department says it’s costing $3.5 million a day.
Meanwhile, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg says the presence of the National Guard has helped keep recent demonstrations peaceful and doesn’t know how much longer they’ll be needed.
City Communications Director Mary Lynne Vellinga tells ABC10 that the city will keep the curfew in place through 8 a.m. on Monday, June 8. From there the city council will discuss whether to extend it further. It is uncleat if National Guard troops will remain in the city throughout the curfew order.
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