Watch the Fox LA Ch. 11 segment below:
December 19, 2020: As our nation approaches 320,000 COVID-19 fatalities (with nearly 9,000 in LA County, where one out of 20 residents has had a positive test) and most Southern California ICUs are at or near capacity, the do as I say, not as I do approach of officials to this crisis continues unabated.
There is no threshold of hypocrisy Long Beach City government is incapable of surpassing, as we have come to see yet again with news of the Long Beach Police superspreader event which occurred on Nov. 5th (now a national news story). As the health and well-being of our residents and restaurant workers is thrown into jeopardy from mismanagement of the opening/closing process—with no attempt made to develop a sustainable plan—we see now that our own LBPD has itself had only a voluntary mask policy and has held the ultimate indoor, maskless superspreader gathering in violation of all CDC and City Health Officer guidelines.
Quite literally our COVID-19 numbers have been soaring, devastating lives, and the most reckless potential spreading of the virus has been witnessed within our own police department, at an event personally directed by our own Chief of Police. Those officers, whose lives he endangered, in turn fanned out into the community, compounding the spread of the disease and further endangering lives.
As a result, LBRC member organization People of Long Beach (exec. dir., Carlos Ovalle) took the lead in initiating a complaint against LBPD Chief Robert Luna, which our LBRC Board of Directors voted to join, jointly filed by PoLB and LBRC with the City’s Citizens Police Complaint Commission. The Commission’s executive director has since responded to us and the CPCC will be conducting an investigation.
We also issued a press release highlighting our complaint on Monday, which was picked up by numerous news organizations. Indeed we received calls from all over the country and our CPCC complaint rapidly became national, even international, news (covered by too many media outlets to count but including those shown below). The hypocrisy of Long Beach officialdom was so egregious and obvious it become an instant national embarrassment.
Yet Mayor Robert Garcia, who is known to be more focused on seeking an appointment by the governor or the incoming Biden Administration right now, has not said a word. He has exhibited a complete dereliction of duty. Apparently in order to prevent his name from appearing in negative news articles, he has gone two weeks now without ever expressing his outrage or hauling the Police Chief before the City Council to account publicly for his conduct.
What’s more, the newly selected vice mayor, Councilman Rex Richardson, reacted on facebook to Chief Luna’s conduct by saying, “Lol” and “Obviously, the offense isn’t great.”
Such is the stranglehold that special interests, such as the police officers union (Long Beach Police Officers Association), have on “leaders” in our city that a scandal in our own ranks can ricochet from coast to coast and even as far as the UK without our own elected officials taking it seriously or even considering the possibility of holding anyone accountable.
Media outlets which have done stories on our Complaint include the following:
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/12/17/long-beach-police-superspreader-event/ (web cached version)
For more on the LBPD superspreader event, see this excellent piece in the Beachcomber: