In Huntington Beach, California, on Sunday, hundreds demonstrated over the death of George Floyd
... Police deemed the gathering an unlawful assembly, and asked the hundreds of protesters to disperse, police officials said in a statement.
One month ago, a different protest in the same Orange County community, which has a large Republican community
, was left mostly alone.
Thousands turned up in early May, packed shoulder-to-shoulder, to demonstrate against California Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to close all beaches
to prevent the spread of the coronavirus... It was not considered unlawful.
So what was different?
CNN reached out to Huntington Police Department regarding the differences between the protests... In a statement, police officials said Sunday's protest became an "unlawful assembly after protesters became violent with numerous assaults."
The protest was declared an unlawful assembly after protesters became violent with numerous assaults, and officers observed protesters with weapons such as pepper spray and various impact weapons, the department said.
"Multiple weapons including cinder blocks, weights and rocks were located hidden in several of our alleys in the downtown area, indicating a precursor to planned violence," police said in a statement.
Huntington Beach Police said protesters were also blocking traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and refused to leave the area after being asked to do so by officers.
The Huntington Beach City Council voted
5-2 in favor of directing the City Attorney to pursue any and all legal actions to challenge the beach closure, a news release from the city stated. Turns out, many residents felt the same way as the county's officials. On May 1, between 2,500 and 3,000 people attended protests
over Newsom's order, according to Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy. While the beach was technically closed, officers did not appear to be enforcing the governor's new closure order, CNN reported
Out of sight from protesters, riot patrol officers on horseback staged under the Huntington Beach Pier, with one officer telling CNN they were there "just in case."