Three council members are asking for an outside agency to expedite an analysis of the City’s response to recent looting and riots.
The Santa Monica Police Department has been gathering information about the incident. Councilmembers Terry O’Day, Kristin McCowan and Sue Himmelrich are now asking staff to promptly retain an outside expert to compile the final report.
Large groups of criminals flooded Santa Monica in May following a peaceful protest for racial justice. While significant looting occurred in the Downtown area, SMPD deployed officers to confront ongoing protests including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Eventually, National Guard troops were called in to restore order.
Residents have criticized SMPD for focusing on the protests while criminals ransacked local businesses and officials promised a report would be written outlining how decisions were made around the incident.
City spokeswoman Constance Farrell said SMPD initially hoped to produce the review on an expedited basis but the Department must continue to serve the community’s needs every day and the amount of work exceeds capacity at this time.
“After Actions reviews of this scope and complexity on average take anywhere from 9 to 12 months to complete,” she said. “We are committed to bringing the community a comprehensive and accurate review of the events leading up to, on, and in the days following May 31.”
In the request, the council members are asking staff to provide the expert with ongoing access to all information relating to these events compiled to date by the Santa Monica Police Department as well as any additional such information gathered by the Santa Monica Police Department or from other sources.
Councilwoman Himmelrich said she was very disappointed when the reported wasn’t ready by the first or second week in August.
“The report should have been done according to staff and the Chief by now and I think it’s important that it be done as soon as possible,” she said.
Council will discuss the proposal at their Tuesday meeting.