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