The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has chosen the OIR Group to lead an after-action review for the looting, riots and protests of May 31.

On May 31 large groups of criminals flooded Santa Monica 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.

Santa Monicans were initially promised two reports about the incident. The first would be an after-action report listing the timeline and facts. The second would provide analysis of the facts. City officials said publicly that the first report would be finished in August of this year but the police department said it was unable to prepare the document and handle regular police work. In response, council authorized staff to hire a third party company to combine both reports into a single document.

“OIR Group brings approximately two decades of experience and expertise in oversight of law enforcement practices and activities, including preparation of after-action reports. They were given lead responsibility by the City of Los Angeles’ Office of Inspector General to investigate the controversial, large-scale use of force by LAPD officers during the 2001 May Day incident in MacArthur Park,” said an announcement issued by the City.

The scope of work includes:

a written narrative of facts regarding those events as determined by the selected firm based on its independent review; and

an independent evaluation of, and recommendations regarding, the City’s response to those events, including in particular the response by the SMPD, SMPD Chief, Interim City Manager, and City Council. The firm selected will be responsible for presenting the independent after action report and evaluation to the City Council, including answering questions regarding the report and evaluation at a public meeting of the City Council.

“OIR Group will complete the independent after action report and evaluation on an expedited timeline with the goal of having a final written report and evaluation within 180 days,” said the statement. “The timeline can be extended if OIR Group determines that additional time is necessary for it to complete a thorough independent report and evaluation. The project contract will not exceed $75,000.”

Regular updates on the progress of the after action report will be shared at santamonica.gov/May31afteraction.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...