The police officer who shot Walter Scott may wind up being the rare case of a cop convicted of murdering in cold-blood an unarmed black man. If past history is any guide, though, just don’t bet on it yet.
The LB Police Department has taken steps recently to improve relations with the communities it serves. But amid a backdrop of complaints over racial profiling and use of excessive force, many question whether enough is being done to repair ties.
In the past decade, the police department in Richmond, Calif. has undergone a dramatic transformation. Spearheaded by an openly-gay and white chief in charge of policing this largely African American and Latino city, the changes are now bearing fruit, with crime down and trust between officers and the residents they are meant to protect on the rise.
LB Police Chief McDonnell touts his experience driving gangs out of Long Beach, fighting human trafficking, and bringing the Long Beach crime rate down. But what do Long Beach residents say about his record as police chief?
In the days after unarmed black teenager Mike Brown was shot at least six times and killed by police in Ferguson, Miss., thousands of people across the country rallied the streets questioning the militarization of police and the racial harassment of young black and brown people of color in America. While conversations around law enforcement practices have begun to change, one thing has stayed constant: fear. Guns, racial profiling and power—all were cited as reasons why Long Beach youth say they fear the police.