Post-Memorial Service Thoughts

Saturday, May 11, 2019

I have just returned from the memorial service for Jessie Bingaman, which was held at Bixby Park at 3:30 p.m., and attended by about 80 people. It is not for me to repeat in detail what I learned about her life or the extraordinary qualities of personal intgrity and compassion that she possessed. I will leave that process of discovery up to you. I am, however, able to say that only now am I beginning to realize how grievous a loss our neighborhood has suffered.

I would note that a representative of the Long Beach Police Department spoke at the memorial service, and he claimed that serious conversations were taking place in the department in the aftermath of this event. He seemed sincere when he said that the LBPD was willing to listen to anyone in the community who was affected by this event.

I would suggest that transparency would be a good place to start. According to my understanding of California law, the Long Beach Police Department bears no financial responsibility whatsoever for the consequences of this police pursuit. Since there is no chance of legal action, then why not hold a public forum in which the process of apprehending a criminal suspect is presented and discussed by the entire neighborhood?

My guess is that the LBPD has no interest in changing anything, however. They hope that our neighborhood will be mollified with a report that conversations are taking place. It doesn’t suffice, as far as I’m concerned.

At the staging area for Jessie Bingaman’s memorial service, there was an enlarged photograph of her sitting in meditation. The back of her T-shirt read, with a humor befitting her journey of enlightenment as well as her professional passion:

And then we pick it up.

I will let you figure out the punch line yourself.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 — Postscript: