SANTA MONICA—After the protests and looting transpired throughout the city of Santa Monica on May 31, Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud has become the target of criticism for not deploying officers to stop looters. A petition on change.org calls for her immediate removal and has already amounted 60,098 signatures as of Wednesday, June 10 at 10:22 a.m.
On May 31, more than 400 hundred arrests were made for looting, violating curfew, burglary and assault in the city and over 80 stores were looted. The city recorded 84 graffiti reports and 292 damage reports to retail businesses, with 155 of those indicating significant damage.
The petition, created by Oliver Greene states: “After seeing the widespread looting and vandalism of our city and local businesses, we can do better. After seeing our brave law enforcement officers stand by without strong leadership or overarching strategy to protect themselves, our city, and its citizens, we have to do better. After seeing SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud conduct a blundering press conference that was completely misaligned with the current realities, we must do better.”
One person wrote: “Watching massive numbers of cops standing around in military formations monitoring protesters who were behaving lawfully, while 1,700 feet away violent criminals were running rampant is beyond unacceptable.”
Another stated individual stated: “There are videos circulating of the police just watching the looters, which directly contradicts what she said on TV.”
On Tuesday, June 9, the Santa Monica City Council reviewed the police response to the events that occurred on May 31.
The council voted unanimously to open an independent investigation into the events that transpired that day, and also called for an incident review by the police department.
Interim City Manager Lane Dilg stated: “Some have argued the response to criminal activity came too late. Others, the response to civil disobedience was far too strong. I am committed to an independent and thorough investigation of the events of May 31 in our city.”
Renaud publicly responded to the investigation, announcing “As Police Chief, I welcome a thorough, independent review of the events of May 31, building on the after-action review I have committed to conducting within the Department.”