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Funeral: 1st black police officer in Phenix City, Alabama

April 28, 2019

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — The first African American police officer in one Alabama city faced numerous death threats and bomb threats after he was hired in 1966, one of his daughters recalled after his funeral Saturday.

Jimmy Lee Long was given the key to Phenix City in 2009. He was living in Columbus, Georgia, when he died April 19, at the age of 81.

The early days were “really trying times,” Virginia Long-Roy told WTVM-TV of Columbus.

“Whenever my father would leave the house there would be bomb threats and death threats,” she said. “I remember asking my mom why we went to sleep at home and woke up at a friend’s or family member’s house. She said, she didn’t want to lose her children to a bomb threat.”

Long’s youngest daughter, Jacqueline Long-Johnson, said, “To see law enforcement honor my father for what he meant to Phenix City, what he did for Phenix City, when I walked in and saw the gentleman standing over him, I broke down.”

Long’s wife died two years ago. They are also survived by their son, Jimmy Long, and daughter Deborah Johnson, as well as nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and Long’s sister.

Capt. Phyllis Pendleton told the station earlier that Long blazed the way for her to become the department’s first black captain.

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