CITYWIDE — Santa Monica Police Department investigators have wrapped up their inquiry into the alleged racial incident that occurred at Santa Monica High School in May, and have submitted the evidence to the District Attorney’s Office, a police spokesman said.
SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis could not say when the case was submitted for review.
The D.A. will review the information and decide whether or not to file charges against the individual or individuals involved.
“Due to the length of the investigation, it may take a few weeks to get a decision,” Lewis wrote in an e-mail.
Police investigators have been involved in the case since late June when a Samohi student filed a complaint alleging that he’d been chained to a locker by two other boys who proceeded to yell racial slurs.
The complaint also alleged that there was a practice dummy with a noose looped around its neck.
The alleged incident occurred on May 5.
Accounts differ on how Samohi personnel reacted to events, with some saying that students were asked to delete any images they may have taken from their smartphones or other devices, and others saying that the administrators kept the images on a separate device and then asked students to delete them.
A separate investigation, led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, is looking into whether or not staff committed any crimes during the handling of the incident, such as tampering with evidence.
That bureau did not return calls for comment on the status of the investigation.
School district personnel are in a wait-and-see mode on the charges, but are pushing forward with reforms and a community-wide discussion on the wider topic of race and racism in Santa Monica, said Superintendent Sandra Lyon.
“There’s not anything we can really do,” she said. “We’re waiting like everyone else to see what the D.A. is going to do.”
After the results come back, however, Lyon will conduct a district investigation with a third party to identify policies, practices and procedures that failed, and what can be done to fix them.
Some reforms are already in progress.
The Board of Education authorized a comprehensive look at policies and curriculum within the school district to help prevent a future problem through education.
Staff has begun a process to review literature, subject matter and course materials in place at the various school sites.
The district will also be holding an event called the Dialogue on Race on Saturday, Oct. 29 to encourage community members to get their voices heard on the wider subject of racial problems in Santa Monica.
“We think that to move forward and to continue moving forward, we need to have everybody in the conversation,” Lyon said. “It’s not just about the school, it’s about the community, the parents and the school.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the District Attorney’s Office asked the Santa Monica Police Department to resubmit its investigation into the alleged racial incident at Santa Monica High School. Police submitted their findings roughly a month ago and are waiting to hear if the D.A. will file charges.