SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a settlement to pay officers at the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) $85,000 in overtime for hours worked during civil unrest and riots. The compensation will cover hours worked between May 31, 2020, through June 13, 2020.

On June 25, 2020, the Santa Monica Police Officers’ Association (SMPOA) filed a formal grievance on behalf of its individual employees ranked Lieutenant, Captain, and Acting Deputy Chief, regarding overtime work members were ordered to perform during events that occurred on May 31, 2020, through June 12, 2020. Interim City Manager Lane Dilg denied the grievance on August 25, 2020. The SMPOA appealed the outcome of the grievance process through a Petition for Writ of Mandate.

“The City does not admit the allegation or any entitlement to overtime compensation, but to avoid the expense and burden of further litigation, we recommend settlement in the amount of $85,000,” said Santa Monica City Attorney George Cardona after discussing the matter in a closed session. 

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, a protest in response to the death of George Floyd quickly turned into civil unrest resulting in “mass, organized looting,” according to former Police Chief Cynthia Renaud. Over 400 people were arrested as a result of the civil unrest, with 95 percent of those arrested residing outside the city of Santa Monica. Charges included looting, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer, and curfew violations. Approximately 76 stores were looted and a total of 220 businesses were damaged.