SM Police Chief Tries to Assure Public After Rumors of Local Looting Appear on Social Media
While there is no information she says, that looters are targeting Santa Monica, SMPD will have extra officers just in case
August 30, 2020
Santa Monica's oft criticized police chief Cynthia Renaud has issued a press release designed to reassure the community. It is below in full.
Numerous rumors on Facebook, Nextdoor and other social media platforms have it that Santa Monica will be targeted this weekend in the wake of the Jacob Blake Shooting in Kenosho. Renaud denies that there is any information concerning Santa Monica, but says that Police are on alert anyway.
"The rest of the chatter is surrounding the fact that our residents are seeing some businesses board up in the last couple of days, and this is of course causing concern about the possibility of looting and vandalism this weekend. As I think we have all seen, several cities nationally, regionally, and locally have been experiencing protests and violence. Some cities are on their 90th+ straight day of rioting and looting," she says referring to Portland and Seattle.
Santa Monica was permanently scarred by the looting on May 31, 2020, which of course was over a death in police custody, that took place 1500 miles away in a City called Minneapolis, and had nothing at all to do with Santa Monica. Renaud was greatly criticized for her departments lack of reaction to the riots following George Floyd’s death.
I've been forwarded some FB posts from members of your community groups questioning possible events here in our city this weekend. I want to reach out and open lines of direct communication between us so we can work through this weekend together and keep our community informed.
Today, at 12pm, the Westside Chicano group has organized a march, which will start at 11:42am at 14th and Olympic and continue to Virginia Avenue Park, which they expect to reach by 1pm. The rally is expected to end at 3pm.
If you'd like to read about this further, I've attached a link to an article on the group and their purpose. https://argonautnews.com/taking-a-stand/
The rest of the chatter is surrounding the fact that our residents are seeing some businesses board up in the last couple of days, and this is of course causing concern about the possibility of looting and vandalism this weekend. As I think we have all seen, several cities nationally, regionally, and locally have been experiencing protests and violence. Some cities are on their 90th+ straight day of rioting and looting.
Oakland has had issues, and Sacramento has had riotous activity now for the past several nights, which has included a great deal of vandalism and violence.
Here in Los Angeles, both the LAPD and LA County Sheriff have been engaged in quelling violence as well. Some of our big box stores have stores in other locations that have suffered, and I believe their corporate offices have made decisions to board stores in other, or somewhat nearby, cities as well. And once one store boarded up here in Santa Monica, others followed out of an abundance of caution.
While there is no indication of violence, looting, or vandalism coming to Santa Monica this weekend, we do know that Beverly Hills will be the site for a scheduled protest today at 3pm. Between their protest activity this afternoon and our businesses boarding up, SMPD believed it prudent to over-staff with a large number of personnel this weekend.
As everyone is feeling on-edge, we will be very visible in the city, and in all neighborhoods and areas, as a presence throughout the weekend.
I'll be working with our team today moving throughout the city. If you need anything of us, please don't hesitate to reach out. Also, if you our your community group members are seeing anything on social media, please screenshot and send it to this email address: [email protected]
Thank you for your help in getting this message out!
Chief of Police
Santa Monica Police Department
333 Olympic Drive, Santa Monica, CA 90401