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Santa Monica Police Boost Patrols After Instagram Threat
By Jorge Casuso
September 1, 2020 -- Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud boosted patrols Tuesday evening after a threatening story was posted on Instagram one day after a Black bicyclist was killed by Sheriff's Deputies in South Los Angeles.
The Chief's message, sent at around 6 p.m., asked police "partners" to email email@example.com if they see something suspicious.
"We want to share that there will be a continued visible presence of SMPD officers in the community this evening given a threatening Instagram story shared in the last hour," Renaud wrote.
"While the credibility of the Instagram story is not known, out of an abundance of caution, SMPD is responding with increased patrols."
The Chief's message comes after hundreds of protesters took to the streets of South LA Monday night after Sheriff's deputies fatally shot a Black bicyclist after making a traffic stop.
Dijon Kizzee, 29, ran from the officers, punched one of them in the face and dropped a bundle of clothes that included a gun, according to the Sheriff's office. The officers then opened fire.
It has not been determined if Kizzee aimed the weapon at deputies or how many deputies fired at him, according to reports.
LA County Sheriff's Deputies are not required to wear body cameras.
On Monday night hundreds of Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched to the South LA Sheriff's station at 1310 W. Imperial Highway, according to reports.
On Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered to march from the scene of the shooting back to the station, according to CBS LA.
Monday's shooting came one day before the LA County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on a motion to fund a body-worn camera program for the department.
According to CBSLA, "Sheriff Alex Villanueva has feuded with the supervisors in recent months and repeatedly called on them to approve the money for the body cameras."
Tuesday's Instagram threat comes three months after widespread looting and violent protests erupted in Santa Monica ("Santa Monica Demonstration Turns Violent, Looters Ransack Stores," June 1, 2020).
The protests were prompted by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.
Several subsequent shootings of Blacks by police have triggered violent protests, most recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake was shot in the back Sunday.
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