Black Lives Matter protests cost SLO County more than $800,000

August 20, 2020

An accounting of personnel costs shows law enforcement agencies in SLO County, along with one state agency, have spent an estimated total of $825,000 on policing Black Lives Matter protests, an amount that could rise considerably. [Tribune]

Following the May 25 death of George Floyd, protests have occurred almost daily in SLO County. On two occasion, local protesters’ violent actions led police to deem the events riots.

The Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo police departments, as well as the SLO County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, provided accounting of personnel costs and mutual aid for protests that took place from May 31 to June 18 in San Luis Obispo. The expenditures released also include mutual aid provided by local law enforcement, which sent officers to Los Angeles amid riots at the end of May and the beginning of June, and the July 21 protest in San Luis Obispo that culminated in the arrests of demonstrators Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista.

Smaller, more recent protests in SLO required far fewer officers and are not included in the expenditure total. The California Highway Patrol, which has been involved in the policing of SLO protests, has yet to release its expenditures.

The SLO County Sheriff’s Office has spent the most money, $393,283, among local agencies on policing Black Lives Matter protests. Overtime costs account for most of the sheriff’s office’s expenditures on BLM protests.

Sheriff’s officials spent a little more than $5,000 on travel expenses related to the Los Angeles protests. The sheriff’s office sent 44 deputies to Los Angeles.

Trailing the sheriff’s office, the San Luis Obispo Police Department has spent $252,238 on Black Lives Matter protests, according to the expenditures the city released.

Officials say the June protests cost the city $253,238. Of that total, overtime pay accounts for approximately $176,850.

SLO Police Department’s personnel costs for the July 21 protest totaled an estimated $13,068. July 21 expenditures are not factored into the total spending for individual agencies.

Every other police department in the county spent less than $27,000 on policing the BLM protests that took place between May 31 and June 18.

On Tuesday, SLO City Manger Derek Johnson warned council members that the police department is close to exhausting its overtime budget. City staff will likely ask the council in September or October to take out funds from emergency reserves.

In attempt to recoup costs, the city of SLO is considering requiring permits for protests and citing individuals marching in the streets without a permit.

Only one of the recent protests, a Women’s March, was permitted. The march cost the city between $30,000 and $40,000, of which about $9,000 was recovered through permitting fees.


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Maybe the County and Cities should file a lawsuit against BLM for the cost of the non permitted and destructive part of the protests, they could get back the money that was extorted from local businesses!!!

Plus Dan Dow could go after Arata’s GoFundMe account for cost to his department for, at least I hope, the prosecution of this miscreant:)


Account Freezing Orders with regards to the GoFundMe account may be viable option that the DA has. If viable, do it quickly. May help towards settlement.


Lot of bull posted here. Much of these costs were caused by the cops overacting and having legions of cops where one or two might have sufficed. I know, I was there. What do you armchair people know?

Any costs should be billed to the cops that murdered innocent civilians-let them pay. They caused all the strife. The protestors are insisting on justice, you cannot put a price on that. Soon as society gets rid of systemic racism then the protests will stop.


Give us a list of the systematic racism that have occurred in SLO that are in contention. Otherwise, go sit at the table and negotiate with the officials in those cities with the actual brutal occurrences. Basically, you are too lazy to drive to Oakland or fly to Minneapolis to protest where the injustices are happening. I’m not sitting in an armchair. I’m actually doing stucco work in the north county heat today, which proves I’m not lazy. I don’t consider holding a sign while I sit on my ass or strut like a peacock while stoned as working for a solution for a city 2,000 miles away. More folks of color died in the Ghost Ship nightclub fire in Oakland than have been killed by cops in CA. I don’t see BLM harassing those Ghost Ship folks operating without a permit.


Look around. Not a lot of color. This in and of itself is evidence of generational systemic racism inhibiting non-whites from attaining measurable wealth, as it is expensive to live here; relatively.


Follow the news, they are paying, civil and criminal penalties that won’t be finished in the courts for a few years. But people will pay.


Count it toward the reparations shakedowns.


These protesters don’t care about anyone but themselves. This is wasted government money that could have gone to help the homeless, provide medical care to the sick or maybe help improve the environment. There are intelligent ways to change the system, screaming, yelling, breaking things, disrupting other people’s lives is not the way to get there. If they had some intelligence handling this movement they could have achieved some real change.


If the protestors really cared about anything they would of held a peaceful protest in one location to show their support and $800,000 worth of police at tax payers expense would not of been necessary


This headline should read:

Black Lives Matter cost SLO County more than $800,000, and trigger-happy policing resulted in Black people being shot by a police at a number 300% higher than Whites over the past five years.

Headline says it all Cal Coast News; we all knew that impartiality doesn’t exist within the click-baitey journalism world we live in today, so I can’t say I’m surprised; yet the idealist in me is still disappointed.


“ and trigger-happy policing resulted in Black people being shot by a police at a number 300% higher than Whites over the past five years.”

But not in this county…

The last two people shot in this county by the police were Hispanic; Mason Lira (2020) and Josue Gallardo (2017).


It’s pretty hard to find the trigger when ya’ left the gun in the bathroom at a fast food joint . Lap dogs don’t bite , even though lately residents wish they would…..


“300% higher than whites”….that’s quite the slippery slope you are arguing!


If you would simply rather argue the validity of the statistic, than acknowledge the OBTRUSIVELY obvious facts that minorities are disproportionately both suspected and arrested for crimes, killed at the hands of Police, and incarcerated within the US judicial system, then there is not an argument to be had; simply your inability to apply sound reason to a fairly obvious social problem.

I actually feel bad for both sides of this issue. Minorities are oppressed by police tactics and a biased judicial system. Police are raised within this same society to hold some of the same implicit biases and coupled with the inadequacy of Police training standards, they perpetuate this oppression; possibly unwittingly.

In Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky says “I love mankind, .. but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular; I believe these officers are likely mostly good humans, but as a whole Policing in the United States has to change.

Arguing any other fact is a red herring.


Do are you saying that the statistic wherein black and Hispanic (in Ca) commit a much higher percentage of crime on a per-capita basis is a myth? Do you believe the numbers are concocted some how by the Dept. of Justice and FBI?

I don’t think any reasonably informed American would argue that the criminal justice system does not treat poor criminals the same as wealthy perpetrators but that is a function of money and resources, directly, not race. Remember the dream team of criminal defense lawyers that OJ had, a black American.

Broken homes, breakdown of the family unit, lack of respect for any authority, and poverty, hit communities of color more often but not exclusively. Criminals are borne from the home before they inflict damage on society. Ones race is at best a correlative component, not the causation.


Why these protesters claim they are marching for civil rights of one group, they stomp on the civil rights of others. They want to bully and order others to comply to their rules, such as no filming their illegal acts and detaining people. Are they able to comprehend the First Amendment does not just apply to them?

While people are having trouble paying their bills, the protesters claim a win when they waste tax payer funds. So what if someone loses their lives work, as long as they write the bullies a check first.

Jorge Estrada

If we had 300 protestors on the Freeway, a $3,000 fine plus legal expenses would have netted over $100K. The next time, a net needs to catch them all and let them pay the expenses.

kevin rise

And the land stolen from natives, and the value of slaves to make some folks rich in America equates to billions. And guess what, no reparations have really been given, Milo cost us tax payers over 75k when he performed at Poly. So what, it’s their job as police to work and get paid. It’s our constitutional right to protest. Freedom isnt free. If my freedom of speech and assembly cost Slo NIMBY’s money, every darn penny is worth it to keep our right safe. The real crime here is police brutality, wealth and greed, poverty, and a terrible Gov response to covid and a handful of ignorant conspiracy theorists pushing false narratives. BLM


I’m not sure there’s a country out there that hasn’t “stole” land in its history. Yes, history has been brutal. Can we change history, no. Is it reasonable to atone for all atrocities via reparations, not at all. For one, where is the line drawn and who does the drawing? A very large number of individuals have been discriminated against one way or another throughout US history…and even more if you expand beyond the borders of our country. It is quite sad that some people are so focused on one negative aspect of US history, but ignore the current atrocities that occur as we live – slavery that still occurs throughout the world (china, NK, etc), sex trafficking (including minors), and real oppression (not just hurt feelings or disagreeing with one’s opinions or beliefs).

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