SMPD Chief Quits
October 22, 2020
SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud is retiring following intense criticism of her department’s response to looting and arson of businesses during a George Floyd protest march on May 31, 2020.
A city statement credits her with cutting crime and other achievements. It says she decided to quit because recent events in Santa Monica and around the nation have strained community-police relations. Which is probably an understatement.
Renaud, the Police Department and city leaders have been criticized for focusing on protests while looters came into town and ransacked well over 100 businesses on May 31.
Renaud has also said that the 100 or so officers on duty that afternoon, were focused on preventing arson at the 110 year old Santa Monica pier.
“Serving as Chief in Santa Monica has been one of the highlights of my career,” Renaud wrote in a statement. “I am proud of our record over the past two years in times of unprecedented scrutiny and challenge for law enforcement.”
Chief Cynthia Renaud’s retirement will be effective Oct. 25.
60,000 sign Online Petition To Fire Renaud
It seems that Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud has become the fall guy for the local riots of May 31, 2020. What exactly is she being blamed for?
First of all is the fact that 200 or so businesses were damaged. Many have never reopened. Downtown Santa Monica is full of boarded up buildings to this day.
Chief Cynthia Renaud said at the time that opportunists had infiltrated and ruined the George Floyd protests.
A petition claiming the department had lost control of Santa Monica generally ,has gathered gar-nered over 60,000 signatures asking for Renaud’s resignation before she announced her retire-ment on Friday. It is not clear how many of the 60,000 are Santa Monica residents. Santa Mon-ica’s current population is just above 100,000.
The SMPD arrested 400 people in relation to protests, riots and looting but didn't press charges against almost all of the suspects (four people have been charged with looting to date; dozens participated). This is another source of dissatisfaction among local residents.
During the civil unrest that started May 31 and went into June, protesters were injured by police rubber bullets. She has also been blamed for that, for firing on peaceful crowds while others were rioting