Home U.S Santa Monica police chief resigns after more than 60,000 people call for...

Santa Monica police chief resigns after more than 60,000 people call for her to quit after riots


Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud has resigned effective October 25

Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud has resigned effective October 25

Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud has announced her retirement after more than 60,000 people signed a petition calling for her to be fired in response to her handling of recent unrest.

Interim City Manager Lane Dilg announced Friday that Renaud was retiring after ‘recognizing that recent events both here in Santa Monica and around the nation have strained community-police relations’.

Chief Renaud will assume the presidency of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) – which has 31,000 members in 165 nations – on October 23.

Her final day as police chief will be two days later on October 25 when Jacqueline Seabrooks will come out of retirement to take over as Interim Chief of Police.

‘Chief Renaud has made the decision to step aside so that the Santa Monica Police Department can continue to move forward,’ Dilg stated.

Between May 31 and June 1 the SMPD arrested 400 people in relation to protests, rioting and looting. Amid the unrest protesters were injured as police fired rubber bullets. 

However the department did not press charges against any of the suspects.

Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said Renaud was retiring after 'recognizing that recent events both here in Santa Monica and around the nation have strained community-police relations'. Pictured, tear gas is deployed during demonstrations on May 31

Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said Renaud was retiring after ‘recognizing that recent events both here in Santa Monica and around the nation have strained community-police relations’. Pictured, tear gas is deployed during demonstrations on May 31

Young protesters film themselves in front of a burning vehicle after violent demonstrations in response to George Floyd's death on May 31, 2020 in Santa Monica, California

Young protesters film themselves in front of a burning vehicle after violent demonstrations in response to George Floyd’s death on May 31, 2020 in Santa Monica, California

A protester is treated for a wound after being struck by a rubber bullet and before being arrested for unlawful assembly on 5th St. in Santa Monica

A protester is treated for a wound after being struck by a rubber bullet and before being arrested for unlawful assembly on 5th St. in Santa Monica

People run off with merchandise from a store on May 31. The Police Chief called the looter 'opportunists who are tracking where peaceful protests are occurring'

People run off with merchandise from a store on May 31. The Police Chief called the looter ‘opportunists who are tracking where peaceful protests are occurring’

‘So what we can glean from intelligence online is that there are opportunists who are tracking where peaceful protests are occurring, and they are then going to that city, knowing that resources will be tied up in ensuring First Amendment rights to free speech,’ Police Chief Cynthia Renaud said at the time.

‘They take advantage of that. And they loot and they perform criminal activity.’ 

However a petition to the council claimed that locals had been witnessing the deterioration of the police force for years, criticizing its ‘ability to maintain order and decency on our streets’.

The petition cited ‘record numbers of burglaries and violent crimes to willfully allowing rampant vagrancy’.

‘Based on NeighborhoodScout analytics, as of 2019, Santa Monica is only safer than 2% of all US cities on a per population basis for both violent and property crimes,’ petition author Olivia Greene complained.

Greene added: ‘After seeing SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud conduct a blundering press conference that was completely misaligned with the current realities, we must do better.’

Chief Renaud came to Santa Monica in April 2018 and reduced crime by 16% last year. However a petition claimed that locals had been witnessing the deterioration of the force for years

Chief Renaud came to Santa Monica in April 2018 and reduced crime by 16% last year. However a petition claimed that locals had been witnessing the deterioration of the force for years

Chief Renaud will assume the presidency of the International Association of Chiefs of Police– which has 31,000 members in 165 nations - on October 23

Chief Renaud will assume the presidency of the International Association of Chiefs of Police– which has 31,000 members in 165 nations – on October 23

Chief Renaud came to Santa Monica in April 2018 and reduced crime by 16% last year, according to a press release.

She is noted for leading as the number of specially trained officers who support citywide efforts to address regional homelessness was increased.

Jacqueline Seabrooks will come out of retirement to take over as Interim Chief of Police

Jacqueline Seabrooks will come out of retirement to take over as Interim Chief of Police

The chief also led the Department during COVID-19 outbreak and is praised for taking the first steps to advance public safety reform.

‘Serving as Chief in Santa Monica has been one of the highlights of my career,’ Chief Renaud said.

‘I am proud of our record over the past two years in times of unprecedented scrutiny and challenge for law enforcement. In my role as President of the IACP, I will be focused on rebuilding the relationships of trust on which all successful law enforcement is based.

‘I am grateful to the men and women of the Santa Monica Police Department for the honor of leading them and to the City of Santa Monica for choosing me for this opportunity.’

‘Chief Renaud is a skilled law enforcement leader who has served Santa Monica with dedication during her tenure,’ said Interim City Manager Dilg. ‘During a time when our City, our nation, and our law enforcement communities have faced unprecedented challenges, Chief Renaud has served this community tirelessly. We are grateful for her service in these historic times.’

Footage showed a group of people stealing items from the back of a van during the unrest

Footage showed a group of people stealing items from the back of a van during the unrest

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