News and Commentary

Store Owners In Santa Monica, CA, Stand Armed To Guard Their Business, Report Says
The deserted Santa Monica Pier is seen on May 18, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

On Sunday, Fox News LA reporter Bill Melugin reported that some store owners in Santa Monica, California were standing guard to protect their property, as two of them stood outside the “Helen’s Bicycles” store and another stood atop its roof brandishing firearms. Melugin showed photos of the assumed store owners on Twitter, writing, “Armed business owners are now stationed outside and on top their properties in Santa Monica. They are taking their protection into their own hands now. @FOXLA.”

Earlier Sunday afternoon, an NBC correspondent stated, “Absolute Chaos along 4thstreet in Santa Monica … looting with impunity on both sides of the street. No police in sight. We’ve watched this happen to dozens of stores for 45 minutes.”

As the afternoon turned into evening, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva stated, “There are no lawful protestors left on the streets. We are about to bring buses and begin making mass arrests.”

It appeared police in Santa Monica started making arrests as day turned into evening:

Actor James Woods, watching the mayhem, commented, “So I’m watching the looting in Santa Monica live on local TV. There’s a thug who puts an armful of clothing into his car and locks the door! Then off he goes to loot some more, but secure in the knowledge his swag is safe! There are levels of irony that are impossible to top.”

Santa Monica, which abuts the Pacific Ocean, is not part of the city of Los Angeles; it has its own police department. On Sunday afternoon, the city of Santa Monica issued a statement saying a curfew would be in place at 4 p.m., reading:

The City of Santa Monica will join our neighboring cities in extending our curfew to tonight, May 31, 2020 at 4 p.m. through tomorrow, Monday, June 1 at 5:30 a.m. Emergency responders are exempt, as are those traveling to and from work or seeking or giving emergency care.  The City of Santa Monica values peaceful protest as vital to our democracy.  

As of 1:15 p.m., a peaceful protest is underway along Ocean Avenue between Montana and Colorado. The Santa Monica Police Department is on site and has a presence throughout the community. The public’s safety is our top priority and we ask the community to avoid Ocean Avenue at this time.  

The 3rd Street Promenade, which was trashed by rioters, is only blocks from Ocean Avenue.

California Governor Gavin Newsom stated on Saturday, “We have to be more resolved now than ever to do more and be better as human beings, as parents, as leader in our own right and to model better behavior,” urging protesters to express themselves “thoughtfully and gently — but forcefully” so that “we, collectively, can not only hear your voice but we can resolve to do something with the lesson that we learn.”

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