Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

OIR Group Issues Independent Report on George Floyd Riots of May 31, 2020 and its Effects in Santa Monica

Report does not condemn SMPD, but does issue 49 practical recommendations for the handling of future, similar situations

 

SMPD line on May 31, 2020. File photo

The OIR Group of Playa Del Rey issued a 116 page report on the events connected to the civil unrest in Santa Monica, of May 31, 2020. The unrest, which followed the death of George Floyd, saw about 100 businesses looted and destroyed in Santa Monica.

The City paid the group to analyze the events, in particular the actions of the Santa Monica Police Department, and issue recommendations. The report does not condemn SMPD, but does contain suggestions for future such events.

"As this Report was being finalized, the verdict in the murder trial of Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin brought a measure of justice to the tragedy that initiated a movement. But the broader pursuit of racial equity and a new paradigm for public safety is still very much a work in progress. Santa Monica, like numerous other jurisdictions, continues to grapple with these ideas in a variety of forums. And SMPD, to its credit, has been an active participant in these efforts," says the report, which is available online in full.

The reports includes 49 recommendations. Here's a typical one: "29: SMPD leadership should work with Area A partners to develop solutions to address the bureaucratic challenges exposed on May 31 and ensure an equitable distribution of National Guard assets in future situations involving civil unrest."

Another, and again, I selected these randomly: "38: SMPD should remind all officers – in daily briefings, a Department-wide training or a Training Bulletin, and specifically in briefings prior to any protest activity – of the requirement to activate their body-worn camera generally per policy and during crowd control incidents in specific."

Many of the damaged businesses never reopened after the rioting. Most of the 20 or so people arrested in connection to May 31 in Santa Monica, did not live in Santa Monica.

 

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