Protesters gather outside CA Gov. Newsom’s home, chain themselves to front gate

West

FAIR OAKS, Calif. (News Nation/KTXL) – Dozens of protesters gathered outside California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Fair Oaks home Monday morning.

The protesters — some of them chained to the home’s front gate — were criticizing the governor for what they say is a mishandling of COVID-19 in prison and immigration detention systems.

The group says keeping convicted people and detainees locked up is a risk to their lives, according to News Nation affiliate KTXL.

At around 9 a.m., California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers began cutting the chains of the protesters surrounding those chained to the gate. Shortly after, all protesters who were chained together and to the gate were removed and detained by CHP, according to officials.

Newsom last week ordered the release of up to 8,000 people by the end of August after a series of coronavirus outbreaks in the state’s prisons. Between mid-March and mid-June, California’s prison population dropped by more than 7,000, less than half of which can be attributed to an earlier decision by the state to let vulnerable prisoners out early.

Newsom and prison officials said that addressing the issue is a top priority and they are in the process of releasing people from overcrowded facilities.  

There are currently 1,801 incarcerated persons with active cases of COVID-19 statewide, with 47 confirmed deaths, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

More than 57,000 prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus in facilities across the country since the outbreak began. Of those, at least 34,000 have recovered, and at least 651 have died, the data showed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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