This is an open letter from the Board of Directors of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association on behalf of the police officers we represent regarding San Bernardino Councilmember Sandra Ibarra.
A PDF copy of the letter is available at this link: San Bernardino Police Officers Letter RE Sandra Ibarra
At the June 3, 2020, city council meeting, Ms. Sandra Ibarra blatantly attacked the integrity of the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Department by leveraging a state emergency into what she described as ineffectiveness by her own city’s police officers.
The facts surrounding the riot that occurred on May 31, 2020 contradict the anecdote presented by Ms. Ibarra to her colleagues and the public.
In reality, our police department’s leadership forecast the need for additional personnel by staffing approximately 40 additional officers to assist with the needs of the planned protest. When rioters and looters took over the protest, San Bernardino police officers strategically addressed the chaos until the unrest became so great that additional law-enforcement agencies were summoned by way of mutual aid.
Prior to this measure, San Bernardino police officers had already begun retaking several businesses that were in the midst of being looted. While doing so, our police officers were physically attacked with bottles, rocks, improvised explosives, and in some instances, gunfire. These brave officers were not standing outside of businesses, but rather were on the inside making arrests and protecting city assets. Outside agencies were primarily tasked with traffic control and crowd dispersal around the perimeter of buildings.
By the time the dust settled, 32 arrests were made, including 12 for burglary and 11 for looting. Of the 32 arrested, 22 did not reside in our city. While the unrest unfolded, officers still responded to hundreds of calls for service not directly related to the riot.
Ms. Ibarra’s claim that the San Bernardino Police Department was ineffective is not only false, but it is disingenuous and speaks to her true character. While Ms. Ibarra’s top priority and focus appears to be the protection of property, our top priority was the protection of human lives. Vandalism, theft, and property destruction are serious crimes, which were being addressed, but objects can be replaced. That is not the case with human lives, which is why calls for service from the community were not ignored during the riots.
Sadly, this is merely the latest instance where Ms. Ibarra has misled the public with her uninformed statements. The seriousness of her remarks and the present atmosphere in our community and Country, made it necessary to address this matter publicly with the City and its elected leadership. Although the SBPOA endorsed Ms. Ibarra’s campaign for the second ward seat, we no longer tolerate or support her ineffectiveness as a city leader.
San Bernardino Police Officer’s Association Leadership