|(May 2, 2021, 10:25 a.m.) - Long Beach had three shootings within 20 minutes on Saturday night May 1. One left a man wounded (CD 6/Saro). One left a woman wounded (CD 1/Zendejas). A third was a shooting at a driver from a vehicle that followed him from the 710 freeway into downtown LB (CD 1/Zendejas) and the rounds missed hitting the victim.
LBPD says the reasons for all shootings are "unknown" and it's currently unknown if any of the three shootings are related.
Public Information Officer Ivan Garcia tells LBREPORT.com:
The shootings come after the City Council held an April 20 discussion on LBPD-offered "strategies for addessing violent crime through community partnerships." During Council discussion, no incumbents moved to restore any of the 48 officers that the Council voted (9-0) to defund on top of 180+ offices erased by previous Councils and not restored by the current Council. The actions of current and past Councils have left LB taxpayers with a significantly thinner police level than Los Angeles, Signal Hill or Santa Monica.
The Council's Sept. 2020 FY21 defunding reduced LB's police level to roughly 1.5 per thousand. The LA City Council's 2020 defunding reduced its police level to about 2.43 per thousand.
On Feb 2, 2021, with shootings spiking, LB Councilmembers sought a strategy from LBPD. On March 17, LBPD sent Councilmembers a memo that didn't mention the word "gangs" or recent or past Council actions that thinned LBPD levels. Instead, it blamed the pandemic and announced the start of a "walking cop" program (8 officers deployed in the area from the LA River to LB Blvd. between Anaheim St. and PCH through April 30.)
During the six week test, the "walking cop" area had two shootings of which we're aware: On March 20 in the area of PCH/LB Blvd (border CD 1/CD 6), a 19 year old man said a black sedan approached him and a suspect fired two shots which missed hitting him. On April 6, in the 1700 block of Chestnut (CD 1/Willmore City just south of PCH), multiple victims (including adults and juveniles) said they were walking on the sidewalk when they were approached by a vehicle and an unknown male suspect shot at them from within the vehicle, then fled the scene.
On April 20, Chief Luna offered the Council an agendized verbal version of his March 17 memo's recommendations accompanied by Power Point slides. It said LBPD has implemented a "Community Response Team" (officers pulled from other assignments, including a Lieutenant, two Sergeants, 8 directed enforcement officers, 5 gang detectives). During the "walking cop" test program. CD 1 Councilwoman Zendejas portrayed it as focused on the Washington Middle School area. LBPD said that since implementing the walking cop program, the WAshington Middle School neighborhood had no shootings.
The walking cop program ended on April 30. On May 1, one of the three shootings (left an adult woman wounded) was in the Washington Middle School neighborhood.
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