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The Modesto City Council has passed an urgency ordinance that bans the wearing of masks and possessing bricks, glass bottles, chains, pepper spray, knives, metal pipes and similar items that can be used as weapons at protests that could turn violent.
The Police Department asked for this ordinance ahead of the proposed Aug. 24 straight pride rally in Modesto that city officials say could draw hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters and has the potential for the type of clashes seen at other demonstrations in cities across the state and nation.
Council - Members - Tuesday - Night - Ordinance
Council members voted 7-0 on Tuesday night for the ordinance, but not before Mayor Ted Brandvold was accused of hijacking the ordinance by making it about the Second Amendment and gun rights, though a former councilwoman said the mayor was protecting residents from governmental overreach.
The original urgency ordinance the city posted to its website Friday afternoon included banning firearms from demonstrations, rallies, protests and similar public assemblies. But the ordinance approved by the council did not include firearms.
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Police Chief Galen Carroll asked Friday that firearms be removed from the ordinance after speaking with Brandvold and the mayor raised concerns about including them. Carroll said Modesto’s ordinance was based on a Los Angeles ordinance that included the firearms ban.
Mayor - Friday - Conversation - Chief - Definition
The mayor in his Friday conversation with the chief also was concerned about the definition of public assembly. He worried whether assemblies included MoBand concerts in Graceada Park, the Fourth of July Parade and other social gatherings. City officials said it did not and that the ordinance targets assemblies in which people come wearing masks and are armed with shields, sticks and rocks and are prepared to fight.
After Friday’s conversation with Carroll, the mayor started an email chain Saturday — in which he wrote:...
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