Medium – KnockLA, August 4, 2020: Digging Up White Roots: An Unsolved Murder in Long Beach Reveals Suburbia’s Long History of Racism
The Taft family was attending their annual family reunion on Saturday, July 21, 2018. About 40–50 family members, mostly Black, came together at Pan American Park in the Lakewood Village neighborhood of Long Beach.
Frederick Taft, a 57-year-old Black man described by family as big-hearted and willing to help anyone in need, was at the reunion. At around 4:00 pm he walked over to the public restroom. He never returned.
Taft was murdered in the bathroom. He was shot nine times; his phone and wallet were not stolen. Witnesses saw a middle-aged white man with a rifle leave the bathroom.
Four months after his death, the Long Beach Police Department released a sketch of the suspect and a reward for information leading to his capture. The Taft family has demanded more action from the police. As of publishing time, Taft’s murderer is still on the loose.