Witnesses are urged to send tips, photos, videos and surveillance footage to the FBI
By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left, by Jake Rose: Bystanders shoot video as Randall Lamb engineering firm's offices in a historical structure burns
June 4, 2020 (La Mesa) – The FBI is asking for the public’s help to identify and arrest violent instigators and those who committed crimes such as arson and looting in the wake of protests across the nation. This includes La Mesa, where violence erupted after Saturday’s protests including burning two banks, vehicles and a historic building as well as vandalism and looting at dozens of local businesses.
Many photos and videos showing crimes in progress during the chaos locally have been posted on social media sites, including some aired by local media organizations. Many of those contain images that may provide evidence of one or multiple crimes, when compared to other sources of documentation such as surveillance footage taken of looters during the pillaging and burning of local stores and financial institutions.
“The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution is dual and simultaneous, not contradictory,” a press released issued by the national FBI in Washington D.C. states. “Accordingly, we are committed to apprehending and charging violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law.”