LONG BEACH (CNS) – Long Beach police launched an online portal Thursday for the public to submit evidence of unlawful activity that marred what had been a peaceful anti-police brutality demonstration last Sunday.
Police encouraged the submission of photos and videos of agitators committing looting, vandalism, arson, burglary or assault. Investigators are looking for clear or partially clear shots of a suspect’s face, identifiable clothing or accessories, vehicle license plates and/or locations.
Users are not required to submit their name or date of birth so that entries may be made anonymously, but phone numbers must be included “to preserve the integrity of the evidence submitted,” according to police. The portal can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/3eUxDhJ.
Widespread looting in Long Beach began about 5 p.m. Sunday, with businesses at The Pike Outlets, the Promenade and along Long Beach Boulevard hit hard.
News helicopter crews broadcast footage showing scores of people making multiple trips inside stores to carry out armfuls of merchandise which they loaded into waiting vehicles, taking selfies and smiling for television cameras.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said about 75 arrests were made Sunday and he blasted looters who took advantage of the protests to engage in lawlessness. National Guard troops were deployed to the area to help restore the peace.
The Long Beach Police Department does not have plans to create a similar portal for the public to report allegations of excessive force by officers during the protests. Officer Ivan Garcia said the public is still able to do so, though not in an online form.
Stories and videos of force and apparent misconduct by police officers nationwide were spread on social media, including a photo of a Long Beach officer pointing a less-than-lethal weapon at a child on a man’s shoulders on Sunday.
KPCC/LAist reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez said police shot him with a rubber bullet while he was covering the Sunday protests in Long Beach.
Guzman-Lopez shared a photo of the injury to his neck on Twitter, posting, “I had just interviewed a man with my phone at 3rd and Pine and a police officer aimed and shot me in the throat … OK, that’s one way to stop me, for a while.”
Information about how to file a complaint against Long Beach police officers is available at: https://bit.ly/3gV2UTl.