SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Officers’ Association (SMPOA) announced the passing of Santa Monica Police Department Officer Rashad Riley, 40, on Wednesday, April 17.

Officer Riley died on April 12 in a drowning accident while on the island of Kauaʻi, in the waters off Keoneloa Bay, also known as Shipwreck’s Beach, in Poipu.

A preliminary investigation revealed Riley jumped off the point at Shipwreck’s on April 12 and was swimming back to shore when he became distressed near the rocky area, according to a news release from the Kaua‘i Police Department.

At approximately 2:40 p.m., bystanders lost sight of him and called 911. Lifeguards from the Ocean Safety Bureau’s south roving patrol unit, firefighters from the Koloa station, and Rescue 3 aboard Air 1 responded to the scene and conducted a search. Riley’s body was located at approximately 3:20 p.m. by Rescue 3 personnel aboard Air 1 with the help of surfers assisting with the search. Lifeguards on jet ski recovered Riley unresponsive body and brought him to shore. Kaua‘i police and AMR medics responded to the scene to assist. He was transported to Wilcox Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

“Officer Riley was a beloved friend to all who knew him, and mentor to local youth in both the Santa Monica Police Explorer and Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) programs,” said the SMPOA in a statement. “He served the Santa Monica Police Department with great pride, courage and integrity for the past 3 years. Officer Riley was a cherished member of the Department’s Homeless Liaison Program. With an infectious and genuine smile, he always demonstrated compassion and empathy when interacting with the community.”

He is survived by his wife and three children. A GoFundMe page was created to collect donations on behalf of Officer Riley’s family. A donation by check should be directed to the SMPOA Office at, or call (310) 393-1003.