|(August 1, 2019, 7:25 a.m.) -- Long Beach isn't Chicago, but from July 1 through July 31, 2019, LB's 1st plus 6th Council districts combined had a higher rate of fatal shootings per capita than Chicago.
And July figure isn't an "outlier." The rate of fatal shootings per capita in these two Council districts combined also met or exceeded Chicago's level during the seven month period spanning Jan 1-July 31, 2019.
The two Central LB Council districts, one of which is within sight of LB's gleaming new "Civic Center", are home to roughly 100,000 frequently working class/historically disadvantaged populations. The two districts stretch from a few blocks north of downtown Long Beach westward across the L.A. river and eastward through Cambodia Town.
Here's the math. We're using rounded figures. They're sufficient to demonstrate relative proportions.
Chicago's population is roughly 2.7 million. LB's 1st and 6th Council districts have roughly 50,000 residents each/roughly 100,000 residents combined. Chicago's population is roughly 27 times the size of LB's 1st+6th Council districts (100,000 x 27 = 2.7 million.)
In July 2019, Chicago had 40 fatal shootings. Source: the accurate but sardonic www.HeyJackass,com (which declares it is "illustrating Chicago values.")
In the same July 2019 period, LB's 1st+6th Council districts had 3 fatal shootings. Our source is official LBPD data. For this calculation, LBREPORT.com has chosen to exclude one of the fatal shootings (which allegedly involved domestic-violence atypical of most other LB shootings.) The two others were: (1) a woman shot/killed inside her home by a bullet in the neighborhood outside on the 1st/6th Council district border along 10th St. east of Alamitos Ave. (which LBREPORT.com has learned was in the 1st district.) (2) A man driving his vehicle car shot/killed in the 1200 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. (6th district) in which a totally unrelated boy (juvenile) was hit by the gunfire and wounded while walking in the same area.)
In July, Chicago (with 2.7 million residents) had 40 fatal shootings while LB's 1st+6th Council districts combined (with roughly 100,000 residents) had 2 fatal shootings counted for this comparison. 2 (LB) x 27 (Chicago) = an extrapolated per capita rate of 54 fatal shootings when LB's 1st+6th Council districts combined are compared to Chicago.
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We checked to see if this might be a one-month fluke or an outlier. It wasn't. From Jan. 1 through July 31, 2019, LB's 1st+6th Council districts combined had 10 fatal shootings. During the same period, Chicago had 270. Applying the per capita math, the 1st+6th Council districts had fatal shootings per capita at basically the same rate as Chicago. 10 x 27 = 270. However, since we have chosen to exclude one of the July LB fatal shootings (that was an atypical domestic violence fatal shooting), the math is 9 x 27 = 246 (just under the per capita rate of fatal shootings for Chicago.)
The takeaway: Residents and businesses in these two Central LB Council districts experience conditions very different than those in much of the rest of LB. LBREPORT.com has repeatedly pointed this out editorially, calling it LB's worst inequity, a "tale of two cities.") LB officials sometimes try to fog this inequity by citing "citywide" LB crime stats because the "citywide" number includes parts of LB with low violent crime numbers that numerically hide the disparity.
Some will note that Chicago's fatal shootings are concentrated in two areas (the city's southside and westside) although we used the city's citywide population figure. That's true, but it doesn't undermine the fundamental inequity demonstrated by these numbers. If LB's 1st+6th districts combined were its own city, its rate of fatal homicides per capita would meet or exceed Chicago's citywide rate. In LBREPORT.com's view, that shouldn't be tolerable to anyone holding elective office anywhere in Long Beach...although there has been a de facto code of silence about this inequity among LB's incumbent elected officials and political and civic establishment.
In November 2019, LB's 1st Council district voters will choose a new Councilmember (in a no-runoff special election) to replace former 1st district Councilmember Lena Gonzalez who was elected to the state Senate in June.
In March 2020, LB's 6th Council district voters will decide whether to re-elect incumbent Councilman/Vice Mayor Dee Andrews or one of several declared challengers; if no candidate receives 50%+1 of the votes in March, the top two proceed to a November 2020 runoff.
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