Laura Farinella
Chief of Police
505 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Subject :August 20th “America First” event-Main Beach Park
Contact :Sgt. Jim Cota, Public Information Officer    949-464-6671

On Sunday, August 20, 2017, an organized rally from “America First,” as well as counter protestors, stated they were going to exercise their First Amendment right of freedom of speech at Main Beach Park. Beginning at 3:00 p.m., people began to congregate, and at its height, the crowd swelled to about 2500 people. Three arrests were made, and at 9:30 p.m. an unlawful assembly was called due to the crowds not following police orders and running into the street.

The Laguna Beach Police Department was supported by the Laguna Beach Fire Department, Marine Safety, Public Works Department, and several allied fire agencies. Over 250 officers and deputies responded from our county partner agencies and assisted with crowd control, mounted patrol, and air support. It was an excellent display of our mutual aid partnership. Specifically, the Laguna Beach Police Department would like to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Westminster, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Tustin, Santa Ana, UCI, Seal Beach, Fullerton, Fountain Valley, Orange, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, and San Diego Sheriff and Police Departments for their assistance. Having the appropriate personnel and resources to properly address a rally of this size is what made it successful. As always, it is always the mission of our police department to allow for freedom of expression afforded through the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as long as it is done in a peaceful and lawful manner.

Lastly, we would like to thank the Laguna Beach community for their continued and unwavering support during the preparation and execution of today’s event. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Sergeant Jim Cota at 949-464-6671.