Readiness for the possibility of civil unrest
April 16, 2021
In readiness for potential civil disturbances related to the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, coupled with the recent national attention regarding several high profile shootings, and to meet the operational needs of Los Angeles County, we are in constant communication with our state and local law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and California National Guard. At this time, no direct request has been made of the California National Guard, because that can only be done when there is a specific mission to request and assign. But through our preparation, any possible lag time to mobilize should be significantly reduced.
I strongly support the First Amendment and the people’s right to protest, but if these actions become violent or shift into lawlessness, then swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life, protect property, and maintain civil order. This will be accomplished in a fair, firm, and impartial manner, in accordance with the law and 21st century policing concepts.
I believe in the important role the press plays in truth and transparency, as such my personnel are directed to support them in their duties, but that support does not extend into allowing members of the media to become part of the problem once an assembly has been declared unlawful. I strongly encourage members of the press to seek out supervisory personnel and identify yourselves, so they are aware of your status and can more easily support you in your mission.
We the people can exercise our First Amendment rights peacefully, without the need for violence and destruction.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva