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Police to Boost Presence for Protests Sunday
By Lookout Staff
August 27, 2021 -- Santa Monica police will be out in force Sunday as demonstrators who oppose vaccination mandates and counter protesters are expected to descend on the city.
The planned demonstration is scheduled to take place in the area of the Santa Monica Pier, said Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, adding that there is "credible intelligence indicating counter protesters will be in attendance."
"In an abundance of caution, the Police Department will have enhanced staffing through the City and particularly in the Downtown area," Seabrooks said.
"We want everyone to feel safe and to be safe and protected from unnecessary and unwarranted harm or danger," Seabrooks said.
Seabrooks told business owners she supported their efforts to protect their businesses from looting but noted that in recent clashes the violence has been limited to members of the opposing factions.
"Do know the most recent incidents of violence associated with these types of protests has largely involved protesters and counter protesters who primarily focused on each other," Seabrooks wrote.
"Where there have been bouts of vandalism, such as graffiti or the burning of trash cans, there have not been any reported acts of looting.
"Nevertheless, if you wish to board up your business’ windows or have materials on hand, just in case, and you want to remove or secure any street furniture, I support those actions," she told business owners.
Seabrooks asked the public "to be an extra set of eyes" and report "anything unusual or out of the norm."
This includes reporting violations of an emergency ordinance given final approval by the City Council Tuesday that bans items "that can readily be weaponized and serve no legitimate purpose at a peaceful protest."
The items include poles, plastic pipes, or wooden sticks unattached to a sign, metal pipes, projectiles like rocks and pieces of concrete, glass bottles, aerosol sprays, shields, baseball or softball bats, laser pointers and metal containers.
Other items that are prohibited are gas masks or similar breathing devices, helmets, umbrellas bigger than a specified length, riot gear, protective equipment, flak jackets, stab/bullet resistant vests, and load bearing or similar “tactical vests.”
These items "can be and have been used by protesters and counter-protesters seeking to cause harm or serious injury to others, and to vandalize and cause damage to local businesses and public property," City officials said.
Non-life-threatening incidents should be reported to Public Safety Communications/Dispatch at (310) 458-8491. For life threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1.
Those who wish to receive critical and timely public safety information can visit santamonica.gov/alerts.
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