Hermosa Beach Police Chief Statement on Beach Protesters
HERMOSA BEACH – Hermosa Beach Police Chief Paul LeBaron issued the following statement about a group of approximately 50 protesters who illegally entered the beach during a noon rally today to express their opposition to the closure of Hermosa’s beach. The beach and Strand were closed in response to L.A. County’s public health order that required the closure of all the county’s beaches, beach walkways and other beach facilities until at least May 15 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We had talked with the organizer in advance to let him know that we would support the group’s First Amendment right to protest, but we told him that he would be cited if the protesters moved onto the beach,” Chief LeBaron said.
The group initially gathered on Pier Plaza to express their points of view, but then they moved onto the beach in a clear violation of the county public health order and Hermosa’s executive order closing the beach.
“We issued citations in lieu of arrest to the organizer and his associate. We will be using technology, including drone and body camera footage, to identify others who encouraged the protesters to go onto the beach as part of a criminal investigation that may result in additional criminal charges,” Chief LeBaron said. “While we know some people are growing impatient with the beach closures, we ask all to comply with the public health orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. By staying home, you are helping keep our officers and all first responders and front-line workers safe.”
About Hermosa Beach
Founded in 1907, Hermosa Beach is a thriving community of some 20,000 residents. Located on the southern end of the Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles County, with beaches ranked among the best in the world, Hermosa Beach has been recognized for its work to highlight Southern California beach culture, foster a vibrant local economy and protect coastal and environmental resources.
To learn more about Hermosa Beach, please visit the City website: www.hermosabeach.gov/
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