An outbreak of coronavirus at the Long Beach Police Department, following a training session where hundreds of officers reportedly gathered indoors without masks, has some residents charging that police held a super-spreader event.
A complaint filed this week with the Citizen Police Complaint Coalition centers on a large gathering of police officers Nov. 5 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Police had just completed a series of training exercises to prepare for potential unrest around the time of the election, Chief Robert Luna said in an interview last week. The chief stopped by to address the officers for about 10 minutes, praising them for working “their butts off this year.”
“As police chief, I needed to get in front of my men and women,” Luna said. “I wanted to thank them for their commitment, their personal sacrifice. … Not only for that week but everything they had been through that year.”
Many of the hundreds of officers gathered at the center didn’t wear masks, according to a photo the Long Beach Post published about a month later — alongside the Police Department’s official photo of the group, all wearing masks. The story sparked criticism, including from the two activist groups People of Long Beach and Long Beach Reform Coalition that signed the complaint.
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