Inequity By The Numbers: In December Thus Far, Long Beach's CD 1 Has Had More Shootings And Homicides Per Capita Than Chicago. In Sept., Council voted to defund nearly 50 more officers in addition to 180+ not previously restored, including former field anti-gang unit
In Sept., Council voted to defund nearly 50 more officers in addition to 180+ not previously restored, including former field anti-gang unit
|(December 14, 2020, 9:45 a.m.) -- No, Long Beach isn't Chicago, but it is a sad reflection on Long Beach officials safely ensconsed in their gleaming new Civic Center that -- within their window visible view -- the City's mainly working class 1st Council district has had more shootings and homicides per capita thus far in December than Chicago.
As of dawn December 14, Chicago (with a population of roughly 2.7 million persons) has had 20 persons shot and killed, and 93 persons shot and wounded for a total shot of 113.
LB's 1st Council district, with a population of roughly 50,000 has had two people shot and killed, and three persons shot and wounded, for a total shot of five persons
Chicago's 2.7 million population is roughly 54 times that of LB's 1st district (50,000 x 54 = 2,700,000.) That means Chicago would have to reach a level of 108 fatal shootings (2 x 54 = 108) to reach the per capita level of LB's CD 1 fatal shootings, and 162 non-fatal shootings (3 x 54 = 162) to reach CD 1's per capita non-fatal level. Chicago's actual levels of December 2020 fatal and non fatal shootings to date are both lower: 20 fatal, plus 93 non-fatal for a population of roughly 2.7 million. (Source: non-governmental HeyJackass.com).
This isn't the first time this has happened in Central LB. From November 1,2019 through December 1, 2019 Long Beach's 1st plus adjacent 6th Council districts combined had nearly as many shootings (fatal + wounding) per capita as Chicago...and that figure wasn't an "outlier." The rate of fatal shootings per capita in these two Council districts combined met or exceeded Chicago's level during the seven month period spanning Jan 1-July 31, 2019. (Chicago's shootings are concentrated in two areas which doesn't undermine the basic inequity visible in LB's numbers. If LB's 1st and 6th districts combined were its own city, its rate of shootings for November would approach per capita Chicago's citywide rate.)
LB's Central districts were represented until mid June 2019 by Councilwoman (now state Senator) Lena Gonzalez and until last week by Vice Mayor Dee Andrews (the latter voted out by CD6 voters in November 2020.) CD 1 has been represented since early December 2019 by Mary Zendejas. CD 6 is now represented by Suely Saro.
(LBREPORT.com has separately learned that state Senator Gonzalez has moved out of LB's working class CD 1 and into LB's affluent ELB 5th Council district.)
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LB Mayor Robert Garcia has previously told audiences that LB crime is at "record lows" and "down" from previous years, but the Mayor's metric avoided acknowledging a major inequity: even if shootings citywide are "down" or at "record lows," they continue to disproportionately impact mainly working class/historically disadvantaged LB neighborhoods; their residents and businesses experience shootings crimes at a rate nearly inconceivable to residents/businesses in other parts of LB.
LBREPORT.com has editorially called this LB's worst inequity, a chronic injustice we've described as a "tale of two cities."
In Sept. 2020, the City Council approved a FY21 budget recommended by Mayor Garcia that defunded nearly 50 officers on top of over 180 officers defunded by a former Council (that included then-Councilman Garcia). The collective officer defundings have left L.A. County's second largest city without its former LBPD field anti-gang unit and with a significantly lower level of officers per thousand residents than Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Signal Hill.
For details on how LB taxpayers lost their former LBPD field anti-gang unit, click here.
LBPD crime stats don't separately report shootings. Like many law enforcement agencies, LBPD includes shootings within "aggravated assaults," which satisfies federal reporting standards but makes it difficult to access data on LB shootings. This is a discretionary action enabled without objection for years by the LB City Council. (In L.A., LAPD does provide shooting crime stats in its publicly released stats.) LBREPORT.com independently tracks shootings after confirming each one with LBPD.
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