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Report On La Mesa Protest-Turned-Riot Finds Police Department Lacking

A hole in the window of a comic book store in La Mesa following a night of protests, May 31, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
A hole in the window of a comic book store in La Mesa following a night of protests, May 31, 2020.
Governor Newsom lifted the stay at home order on Monday. Today, a UC San Diego infectious disease modeler is sounding the alarm of the fast spread of the UK COVID variant in San Diego County.

The killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police and the false arrest of Amaurie Johnson by a La Mesa officer led to social justice protests in La Mesa at the end of May.

What started as a peaceful protest turned into a riot, leaving some area businesses looted, vandalized and even burned to the ground. La Mesa police responded by firing tear gas, flash bang grenades and bean bags.

The city has been taking a close look at what went wrong. Now a consulting group commissioned to find out is reporting the department was ill-prepared. According to their findings officers lacked training, communication, leadership and policies that would have likely deescalated the situation. The report was presented to the La Mesa City Council Tuesday night.


RELATED: Former La Mesa Police Officer Charged With Filing False Police Report

This comes as the search continues for a new police chief and the city of La Mesa works to create a police oversight board.

Karen Pearlman covers East San Diego County for The San Diego Union-Tribune and joins Midday Edition to discuss the report.

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