• Matt Esnayra

Someone Made a Map of LB Businesses that were Looted During May 31st Unrest

Nigel Lifsey, a Long Beach resident and former candidate for city council created a custom Google map that allows users to see some of the businesses that were affected during the May 31st unrest.

What we’re seeing: According to Mr. Lifesy’s map, a large segment of looting occurred in the Downtown Long Beach area, but what was unknown at the time, due to heighten media coverage focused on the Downtown area, was how widespread the looting and vandalism was.

  • Businesses as far east as Bluff Park and Cambodia Town got looted, neighborhood markets in the Westside burglarized, a pizza parlor in Bixby Knolls was broken into, and fast food joints in North Long Beach had been robbed.

  • According to LBP, a total of 28 people were arrested, and 56 people were cited and then released.

  • When asked for a list of businesses affected during the unrest City Manager Tom Modica replied, "the reason that it's taken some time is that it keeps getting added to, as we hear about more, as people were calling it in, as they're filing insurance claims, our economic development department has been reaching out and asking specifically for businesses to share that so that we can get an accurate accounting".

What he's saying:

  • LB Council Member Pearce asked L.B.P.D Chief Luna what time did the call for the National Guard occur?, "I know we called for mutual aid, uh, probably between 4:00 and 4:30, that afternoon" — City Manager Tom Modica would later say the call occurred "around 8:40 p.m or eight 8:45 p.m".

  • LB Council Member Supernaw said, "On Monday, June 1st, we requested a list of businesses that had been looted..., or vandalized. We thought it'd be a good idea to reach out to those businesses and to assist with board ups or whatever other help that might have. As of today, we still don't have that list".

  • Lifsey on what inspired him to create the map: "After the protests last weekend, I was thinking about other ways that the Black community in Long Beach can be seen, heard, and empowered. Back when I was running for City Council, one of my campaign priorities was to create an environment where small businesses can thrive here in our city, and small businesses had already been severely impacted for the past several weeks due to COVID-19. So I decided to address both of those issues and share a directory of black-owned businesses in our city, however, I could not find a single comprehensive list of the black-owned businesses. So I decided to create my own. I figured that just about everybody uses Google Maps, so I used that technology to create a public map and I crowdsourced the list of black-owned businesses via the power of social media".

  • Lifsey on the possibility that the BLM movement could lead to real structural change? "I sure hope so. I do believe that economic empowerment is a powerful tool in creating the structural changes needed to reduce the socioeconomic gaps that we see in society today. And I hope this map serves to increase the economic power of the black community here in Long Beach".

Correction: MTLB deleted a post on Facebook that incorrectly said the date of the George Floyd protest in Long Beach was on March 31st, the protest took place on May 31st.

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