SANTA MONICA— According to change.org, the petition “Recall Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud immediately” had received more than 9,000 supporters by 4:00 p.m. by Tuesday, June 2 after footage displayed officers standing passively while looters raided more than 80 stores in the downtown area near Los Angeles.
“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,” Oliver Greene, the petitioner creator writes. “After seeing SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud conduct a blundering press conference that was completely misaligned with the current realities, we must do better.”
“During height of destruction and looting, zero police presence,” one petitioner states.
The “peaceful protest” had turned into violence, leading to the act of looting and burning down local businesses, including chain stores, restaurants, retail stores, and more. According to WABC, 95 percent of the arrested looters did not live in the city of Santa Monica. Santa Monica, Culver City and Los Angeles police arrived at the scene with teargas, armored vehicles and flash grenades. According to TODAY, Renaud states there were two groups in the streets with the peaceful protestors and another large group of looters, including “cars of people that were coming into the city intent on looting.”
Although more than 400 people were taken into custody on charges for looting, violating the city’s curfew, burglary, and assault, the arrests did not take place by the officers until the businesses had been destroyed.
Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown in a statement on Monday, June 1 said,
“Sunday was one of the most distressing days in Santa Monica history. We will support our local businesses to recover from this. Much was lost on Sunday, including property and innocence.”