Laguna Beach logoThe City of Laguna Beach encountered a disturbing incident of “Zoom bombing” during its February 13, 2024, City Council meeting, wherein individuals disrupted the public forum with offensive content and hateful rhetoric.

“Zoom bombing” refers to the unwelcome intrusion into a public meeting through a video-conferencing platform, often involving offensive material aimed at disrupting proceedings. In this instance, hackers shared highly offensive content including racial epithets, homophobic remarks and antisemitic sentiments.  Not only does it disrupt the City’s business and public meetings, but it also exposes officials, staff and attendees to unwarranted hateful language, which has no place in the community.

Over the past four years, the City of Laguna Beach, like many others, has adapted to incorporating teleconferencing technology into public meetings. However, this also means vulnerability to Zoom bombing incidents. The City will continue to adjust its protocols to protect meetings and allow residents to engage in the democratic process.

“On behalf of my City Council colleagues, I regret the distressing incident of ‘Zoom bombing’ that disrupted our meeting. Our community’s dedication to civic engagement is commendable, and we are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment. Together, we will continue to uphold our values of inclusivity, respect and integrity,” said Mayor Sue Kempf. “We extend our gratitude to the dedicated staff and officials who handled the situation with professionalism and commend those who attended the meeting. Our community deserves a safe, respectful and professional environment in all public meetings.”