Authorities, merchants prep for possible protests

Authorities prep for possible protests in West Contra Costa County
Target store in Richmond on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Photo credit: Mike Kinney)

Authorities and merchants are preparing for the possibility of protesting and looting in West Contra Costa County.

Target stores in Richmond, Pinole, Albany and Emeryville and the Walmart at the Shops at Hilltop closed early this afternoon in anticipation of protests.

The Richmond Police Department is communicating with Target, Walmart and other community businesses, said Capt. Al Walle. Patrols have increased tonight and the RPD is monitoring its business districts, Walle said. The Contra Costa County Mutual Aid Mobile Field Force is on alert as well, he said.

Meanwhile, Pinole police reported on social media about a possible scheduled peaceful protest at Fernandez Park on June 4, and also indicated reports of a protest this afternoon in its city.

“We are currently in the process of notifying and meeting with our local merchants to provide notification on this proposed event, so that educated decisions can be made as far as securing and/or closing their businesses,” Pinole police said online.

Due to the ongoing unrest, and in the wake of weekend looting in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill, Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston encouraged all County residents to remain indoors from 8 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. tomorrow.

“There is currently NO countywide curfew order,” the sheriff said. “However, that is subject to change. Please note that some cities have implemented their own curfews and residents should check their city’s website for updates.”

Also today, WestCAT reported it has been following updates for possible protests in its service area and will share any impacts on operations.

Check back for updates.

Mike Kinney contributed to this report