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LETTERS -- Where Were the Cops?

June 3, 2020

Dear Editor,

Once again, the City government failed its citizens ("Santa Monica Demonstration Turns Violent, Looters Ransack Stores," June 1).

The looters had a plan; the cops didn’t. Captured by TV cameras, scores of looters scoured stores on Broadway and then poured the stolen goods into waiting vehicles.

Where were the cops? They were confronting (George Floyd) protesters on Ocean Avenue who were legally rallying.

This happened on Sunday. By Monday, the City’s propaganda press was churning out “happy talk” about cleanup of broken glass and bashed storefronts. Nothing was said about how this civic failure was allowed to happen.

Instead we have vague statements. “We walk hand-in-hand with our community,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg.

"We won't tolerate looters or anyone who is inflicting damage to property in our community," said Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O'Day.

Nice words after the damage is done. Where were the cops?

Obviously the police were under orders, but who in the City is responsible for this disastrous decision to ignore the looters? The Council? The Interim City Manager? The Police Chief? And why? The public has a right to know.

Not all cities reacted as Santa Monica did. The press reports that Newark, N.J. which has a history of riots, had no problem. A 12,000-person protest marched peacefully.

When a young white man used a bat to break a window of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop, he got off only one hit before 20 people surrounded and stopped him.

The mayor said the city emerged unscathed because of “tactical decisions, community and political leadership.” Other cities also had protests, but remained peaceful. In contrast, Santa Monica had chaos.

Harriet P. Epstein
Santa Monica


Dear Editor,

Between the stifling coronavirus rent rules and the obvious "stand down" behavior of the Santa Monica Police Department, Mayor Kevin McKeown -- noticeably absent from press conferences on the day of devastation -- has vividly shown that in the interest of "professional restraint" under "difficult circumstances," he is lacking of any respect for private property and can care less about any economic losses by people who have worked a lifetime to acquire and sustain their businesses and property investments.

Kip Dellinger, CPA
Santa Monica


Dear Editor,

Didn't the police know when the first demonstration started and with all the youngsters standing in the park that once tear gas was sprayed they would scatter and get to Main Street; and a quick jump to 4th?

Why didn’t the fire department just go to 4th street where all the looting was going, presumably 90 percent were from out of town, and spray water on all of the looters and their cars and ruin all that they had stolen.

Seems to me that would have been better use of emergency equipment than waiting for a fire call. If they had sprayed some of them perhaps there wouldn’t have been any fires!

It’s time to get rid of all managers in the city as well as all the council members who apparently are unable to know how to manage anything!

It just seemed the Police Chief had no plan!

Donna Alvarez
Santa Monica

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