Jim McDonnell is the 25th Police Chief appointed to lead the Long Beach Police Department. He is also a 29 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He is running for LA County Sheriff, against 31 year Sheriff veteran, Paul Tanaka. Missing from McDonnell’s list of endorsers are former bosses: Darryl Gates, Willie Williams, Bernard Parks and William Bratton. Long Beach philanthropist Skip Keesel is also notably missing.
An article published in the OC Register discusses the extraordinary number of marijuana arrests in the past decade, which shows black residents were more likely to be arrested on these types of crimes. The article goes on further to state African-Americans are 13 percent of the city’s population, with crime data showing blacks were arrested in 44 percent of the Police Department’s pot cases.
The Long Beach Police Department has generously made themselves available to 2UrbanGirls and has provided insight, on several stories in the pipeline, related to how they are approaching crime in the City of Long Beach. This is the first in a multiple part series on whether racial profiling is occurring in the city although Deputy Chief Robert Luna is adamant it is not happening.
Michele Alexander, author of the book, The New Jim Crow, examines the war on drugs to the rest of the nation:
The impact of this new caste system is most tragically felt among the young. In Chicago (as in other cities across the United States), young black men are more likely to go to prison than to college. As of June 2001, there were nearly 20,000 more black men in the Illinois state prison system than enrolled in the state’s public universities. In fact, there were more black men in the state’s correctional facilities that year just on drug charges than the total number of black men enrolled in undergraduate degree programs in state universities. To put the crisis in even sharper focus, consider this: just 992 black men received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois state universities in 1999, while roughly 7,000 black men were released from the state prison system the following year just for drug offenses. And all of those men will carry the scarlet letter that we call a felony conviction for the rest of their lives.
Related article: Racial disparity in Long Beach pot arrests