SB Police Overtime Price Tag For May 31 Riot Response: $500,000

The police response to the activity in the City of San Bernardino that began on May 31 as a requiem for the death of George Floyd and a protest against the common police practice of employing brutality in particular against African-Americans which thereafter transitioned into a full-blown riot and looting that raged into the early morning of June 1 cost the city more than a half million dollars, it was disclosed this week.
The measured reaction of the city police department in conjunction with personnel from 11 other law enforcement agencies concluded without any major physical confrontations with the rioters and no deaths or significant injuries to the rioters or the police.
San Bernardino Police Chief Eric McBride gave the city council an accounting of his department’s largely ineffective presence which failed to stem the widespread damages sustained by property owners and thefts from many retail establishments.
According to a report authored by McBride and provided to the San Bernardino City Council by City Manager Teri Ledoux on Wednesday, July 1, “On May 31, 2020, the City of San Bernardino experienced significant civil unrest in various parts of the city. Originally, the incident was scheduled as a protest in the downtown corridor in response to a national conversation on race and policing. The previous day, information was received that there were several potential protests being planned downtown. The Police Department assigned 48 personnel to work the event. An executive manager, along with lieutenants, sergeants, and additional personnel were assigned” and “all surrounding agencies were also made aware of the potential need for mutual aid,” McBride wrote.
According to McBride, “The police department has adopted a philosophy over the years to allow groups to peacefully assemble to exercise their First Amendment Rights” and “The plan for this event was to ensure the police department was in position to closely monitor the protesters and the crowd dynamics but also to be in position to deploy if the protest began to become destructive.”
After “a crowd formed in front of City Hall” around 4 p.m., McBride said, its ranks swelled from around 300 to between 500 and 600 “and was now in front of police department headquarters. The crowd ascended the front steps of the police station and began banging on the glass doors leading to the front lobby. The crowd appeared hostile, but no property was being damaged. Several members from a local church were among the group. They engaged the group, asking them to remain calm, which ultimately led to the crowd leaving the police department without damaging any property. After leaving the front steps of the police station, the crowd broke up with a group heading back downtown and another eastbound on 5th Street from D Street.”
McBride’s narrative stated that “As one faction of the crowd moved eastbound on 5th Street, they encountered approximately 15 California Highway Patrol officers. The CHP officers were providing security for a state-owned facility, and they immediately formed a skirmish line to confront the crowd. The crowd immediately became hostile towards the officers and began throwing items. The CHP had about 75 officers on standby in the city. They requested their assistance and also asked for mutual aid from our agency and others. Up to this point, the crowd, while at times aggressive, had not damaged any property and had not been provided the confrontation with law enforcement that they may have wanted. The CHP skirmish line appeared to have provided the confrontation many of the aggressive protesters were seeking, and immediately, the crowd began to become destructive. Almost immediately, the crowd began to disperse and travel in different directions and was no longer a cohesive group. While smaller bands headed back downtown, others began heading to the area of 9th and Waterman Avenue. Due to the destructive nature of certain elements of the crowd and its growing size, mutual aid was immediately requested. Officers deployed to the Waterman Discount Mall and utilized the sheriff’s helicopter to provide a dispersal order. The crowd quickly grew to over 2,000 and was becoming very destructive. Additionally, the crowd was bombarding the officers with rocks, bottles, bricks, fireworks, and anything that could be hurled to injure an officer.”
McBride related that, “Since our regional law enforcement partners were on standby to provide mutual aid, we were quickly augmented by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and the Fontana, Ontario, Montclair, Colton, Rialto, Upland, Chino, Riverside, and Redlands Police Departments. The deployment of officers at 9th and Waterman grew to about 250 officers very quickly and the crowd continued to grow and become more aggressive. As the officers worked to disperse the crowd, the police department began to receive information of looting across the entire 60 square miles of the city. This dynamic had not occurred elsewhere in the region and required the department to send split resources across the city to combat the issue. Some areas being targeted were the Inland Center Mall, both Walmart stores, Target, Big 5, and Harbor Freight on Highland Avenue along with various other locations across the city both small and large. We continued to gather information, live as it was being posted, that individuals were attempting to rally other looters to target additional locations throughout the city and in the neighboring communities of Redlands and Highland. Both of these cities began to experience instances of looting and it also spread to the high desert communities. This necessitated some assets to return to their jurisdictions to combat the growing problems in their communities. Eventually, the major group of protesters at 9th and Waterman were dispersed. The department and allied agencies were left to provide asset protection to major retail locations to prevent looting and respond to calls of active looting. One issue that arose was the reluctance of businesses to send out board up crews to secure their locations against additional theft. This caused multiple calls back to the same locations as they were left unsecured. By approximately 0230 hours [2:30 a.m.], all mutual aid units had been released from the city. By the end of the night, 32 arrests were made on subjects involved in the events. Twenty-two of the suspects were not residents of San Bernardino. Additionally, there were 1,284 calls for service between May 31 and June 1, which is an exponential increase. Following the night of the incident, the department assembled a task force to follow-up on the crimes that occurred. As a result, we have arrested a number of suspects and have obtained arrest warrants for many others. Stolen property has been recovered and returned to the property owners.”
According to McBride “The city manager declared a local emergency and established a city-wide curfew from 1800 hours [6 p.m.] to sunrise. In response, the department developed a temporary modified staffing plan to increase the number of available resources to respond to protests, unlawful assemblies, or other incidents requiring a significant police response. Emergency staffing remained in place until June 5, 2020, at 0700 hours [7 a.m.].
McBride said that based upon the county fire department’s property damage assessment report from what had occurred on May 31st and June 1st, 127 properties sustained damage or had to be boarded. He said 24 were boarded with no damage; 89 buildings were impacted with 1-to-9 percent damage; 11 sustained minor 10-to-25 percent damage; three suffered major 26-to-50 percent damage and no buildings were destroyed or experienced damage greater than 50 percent.
According to McBride, “The fiscal impact as of June 25, 2020, in reported overtime, salaries, and materials/supplies costs for this event totaled $488,603.40. In addition, costs to replenish less lethal supplies are $13,221.60.”

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