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Amid Anger Over Handling Of Protests, Santa Monica Police Chief Stepping Down

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The Santa Monica Police Chief is resigning amid anger over how she handled protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing in Minnesota.

In a statement, Santa Monica City Manager Lane Dilg praised Chief Cynthia Renaud’s reform efforts.

But the statement — issued Friday — said, "recognizing that recent events both here in Santa Monica and around the nation have strained community-police relations, Chief Renaud has made the decision to step aside," effective Oct. 25.

The chief came under intense criticism for the way her department handled protests over Floyd's killing.

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Activists say officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters. They gathered more than 60,000 signatures calling for Renaud’s resignation.

But criticism came from business owners in downtown Santa Monica too. They complained that officers left their shops to looters, while they concentrated their forces on protesters on Ocean Boulevard during the height of the protests.

There have been calls for other police leaders to step down this year, including LAPD Chief Michel Moore and L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Renaud is the first to go.

Ironically, later this month, Renaud assumes the presidency of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, where she says she’ll focus on rebuilding trust in law enforcement.

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