Killings Up in Compton

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mnjmc
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Killings Up in Compton

Unread post by mnjmc » July 26th, 2005, 12:53 am

Compton Stung by Steep Rise in Killings

The spate of violence, much of it linked to gangs, reverses years of declines in slayings.

By Megan Garvey and Rong-Gong Lin II
Times Staff Writers

July 25, 2005

Compton has recorded 44 slayings this year — more than in all of last year — putting the city of 96,000 on a pace to far surpass homicide rates in the nation's most dangerous big cities.

If the trend continues, Compton could post as many homicides as it did in the early 1990s, when the city averaged nearly 80 killings a year, figures that made headlines amid a record upturn in crime nationwide.

The new outburst of violence — much of it tied to gangs — has alarmed law enforcement officials because it comes after years of declining homicides in the city. Even as the killings in Compton have nearly doubled since last year, nearby areas that also struggle with gang activity, including southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach, have seen homicide rates decline or remain steady.

Until recent months, Compton leaders had used a double-digit decline in violent crime to highlight a turnaround in their long-troubled city. Made synonymous with gangsta rap and ghetto life by N.W.A's landmark 1988 album "Straight Outta Compton," the city — bolstered by its decrease in crime — pursued another image: "to be a viable, affluent, self-reliant and safe community."

Local leaders are hard-pressed to explain how things could change so quickly. And officials in nearby jurisdictions are nervously eyeing the turn for the worse.

The increase in killings accounts for much of the 11% upturn in homicides in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which has served Compton since the city's cash-strapped Police Department was disbanded five years ago. (By contrast, in 2005 the Los Angeles Police Department has recorded a 10% decline in homicides citywide.)

Last year, New Orleans had the highest per capita homicide rate of cities with 100,000 residents or more, with 56.3 homicides per 100,000 residents. At the current pace, Compton's per capita homicide rate this year would be more than 80.

After renewing the sheriff's contract late last year amid community praise for the level of service and declining crime, some city leaders now wonder if having their own police force would make a difference. They also question why deputies have arrested suspects or issued warrants in only nine homicides this year.

"They don't have enough deputies who grew up in the city," said Mayor Eric J. Perrodin, who was a gang officer for the former Compton police force.

"If you're not solving the crime, the killer remains on the street," he added.

Though homicide and gang suppression units are deployed at the discretion of sheriff's headquarters, patrol officers are assigned to cities based on individual contracts.

Sheriff's officials agree that they could use more resources but note that their hands are partly tied by how much the city spends. Compton pays about $13 million a year; that's enough to pay about 75 deputies to patrol the city of 10 square miles.

In contrast, the LAPD's nearby Southeast patrol station — which serves about 150,000 residents living in the Nickerson Gardens public housing project and in other neighborhoods, including Watts — has 258 officers to patrol an area the size of Compton. That station has had 33 homicides this year, down from 44 for the same period a year ago.

On the street in Compton, deputies say, they face a city with a long history of gang activity, gun possession and poverty that combine to make getting to the roots of violent crime difficult.

To make matters more difficult, they have identified no one particular gang conflict or hot spot behind the rise in violent crime. Focusing personnel in one troubled area "doesn't eliminate the rest of the shootings in the city. The shootings remain constant," said Det. April Tardy.

Added Capt. Mike Ford, who heads the Sheriff's Department's gang suppression unit: "You've got to say, 'What's going on here?' "

With no easy explanation of why crime declined for more than a decade, experts worry that a reversal could be quick. Is the doubling of homicides in Compton an anomaly or a sign of things to come?

As the killings have mounted — with little attention paid outside the community and scant new resources made available — the frustration of some longtime deputies has also risen.

"If Beverly Hills or Santa Monica had these many shootings, the politicians and law enforcement would find the courage to put a stop to these shootings," said Lt. Bob Rifkin, who runs operations for Ford's unit. "There is so much apathy in South-Central and in Compton that it's sickening. I see it in the media, in politicians, in law enforcement, in the courts, in the juries."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Shortly after 11:30 p.m. on June 11, a Saturday, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire on partygoers at a tiny lemon-colored Compton home, wounding a man and four women.

One of the women was eight months pregnant. The gunfire killed her unborn child.

For Alex Leon, a pastor at Victory Outreach church in Compton who has long worked with local gang members, the attack was enough to make him ask how it had gotten so bad.

"She got shot and her baby died, and to me, that needs to stop, because look at this: a kid that wasn't even born, already dead, by violence?" said Leon, shaken enough by the recent shootings — which have killed 10 teenagers — to decide to attend only church parties where he knows all the guests well.

In the weeks since then, 11 more people have been killed in Compton; 10 were shot, one was stabbed. Three died last week: The most recent was the shooting death Friday evening of a man sitting in a car parked near a middle school. In some areas of Compton, killings are clustered, with multiple deaths on the same street, often weeks or even months apart.

Deputies have had little success in solving cases. In more than half of the homicide investigations, they say, the suspect is unknown. In most of the rest, they have only a vague description that includes race and gender.

Also troubling is an even steeper rise in gang-related shootings in Compton and adjacent unincorporated areas — with 111 recorded by the end of April, compared with 54 for the same period a year ago. By the end of June, Compton deputies had reported 147 assaults with firearms compared with 107 for the first six months of 2004.

For state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who called a meeting this month in Pasadena to talk to local law enforcement officials, academics and gang intervention workers about crime, the problems in Compton reflect a larger truth about gangs in California.

"If you look past the short-term numbers and trends, what you do see is a long-term increase in gang activity," Lockyer said. "Is there a worry it spreads? Yes."

Lockyer noted a recent Rand Corp. study done for his department that found that about half the homicides in Los Angeles County were believed to have been tied to gang activity; 25 years ago the portion was about 14%.

In Compton, many homicides and shootings have the hallmarks of gang crime, deputies said. But gang suppression deputies have not traced shootings to specific long-term disagreements among Compton's numerous active gangs, making the violence harder to predict or target.

"It's not just two gangs fighting each other or four gangs fighting each other; it's twentysomething gangs. It's sporadic," said Rifkin, who worked out of Compton until earlier this year, when he became head of operations countywide for the sheriff's gang unit.

By contrast, at the Sheriff's Department's nearby Century station, which covers the city of Lynwood and such unincorporated areas as Willowbrook, Florence and Firestone, officials have identified a gang war believed largely responsible for an increase in homicides and shootings there. A task force has been formed to try to stem the violence, which deputies have traced to a conflict between one black gang and one Latino gang.

In Compton, community leaders say they need help.

"These gangs are your local community terrorists," said Royce Esters, a Compton resident and president of the civil rights group National Assn. for Equal Justice in America. "When they had the Ku Klux Klan, they brought the federal government in."

Esters said he sees deputies patrolling in their cars but rarely getting out to talk to residents. Like others who have watched with alarm as more and more people have been killed this year, he said his area needs more homicide detectives.

Sheriff's officials agree that more deputies are needed.

"If you put a one-person car out in the middle of Compton and he's chasing the radio all day, there is no time for proactive law enforcement," Rifkin said. "Everybody is overloaded."

Perrodin, the mayor, said he hoped that city revenues would rise, making it possible to put more deputies on the street. But he also plans to ask for help from Washington in the form of assistance from agencies that include the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Capt. Eric Hamilton, who heads the Compton sheriff's station, said his deputies had helped to bring crime down significantly over the four previous years.

"I don't want people to believe that we have failed as an organization," Hamilton said. Still, he added, law enforcement in the city has been hindered by the low level of staffing.

"We need more resources; we've asked for more resources," Hamilton said. He said appeals to Compton's City Council have resulted in funding for two more patrol deputies, but he added that far more are needed.

Experts on gang activity said Compton's crisis underscores the cycles of gang violence and how hard it is to predict levels of crime.

"We don't do anything to cause a gang to go away," said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators Assn. and a retired sheriff's gang suppression officer. "They just go quiet for a while."

McBride said the concentration of gangs in and around Compton — an area he said "probably has as many gangs as any place in the world" — makes it a spot to watch for trends. As more people are shot or killed, McBride said, the likelihood increases that the victim has relatives and friends in other areas willing to pick up the fight.

For Velera Dudley, who has lived just east of the Compton Airport for 34 years, the signs of rising crime became obvious in December, when she started noticing more makeshift memorials on the streets where she walks. Now, Dudley said, she and her neighbors don't go out to water their lawns after dark, fearing drive-by shootings.

"We're sick of it," Dudley said.

Willie B. Chatmon, a great-grandmother who lives two blocks from an area hit in the spring with six killings in six weeks, said her children and grandchildren have repeatedly asked her to move.

Although she worries, Chatmon so far has refused to leave her longtime home.

The killings are "increasing more and more. I don't know the reason, but I just want it to stop," Chatmon said as she watered her manicured lawn in the twilight on a recent warm summer evening.

"It's strange; they never find out who kills some of these people."

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Re: Killings Up in Compton

Unread post by SkoobyDoo » July 26th, 2005, 5:12 am

mnjmc wrote:which deputies have traced to a conflict between one black gang and one Latino gang.


Anyone know who these two gangs are?

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Unread post by kcf_4_ever_4_lyfe » July 26th, 2005, 1:50 pm

Proabably crips or bloods vs. the ms-13 or 18th street or compton varrios or some other gang.

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Unread post by Guage12 » July 26th, 2005, 2:52 pm

Yeah my brother stay down in compton, he say shit's getting pretty bad out there right now. the gangs are beefing with each other. looks like compton starting to get fucked up again like in the 80's and 90's. I remeber when San bernardino was real bad back in the early 90's especialy 91' that year shit was hectic cause of the same thing that's happening in compton right now. all the gangs was beefing we had 120 homicides that year with more than half of them like 80 happening just on the west side alone. a part of the city that only got like 25,000 residents so you do the math.

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Unread post by tysuave » July 27th, 2005, 8:28 am

it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!

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Unread post by Guage12 » July 27th, 2005, 4:48 pm

The tortilla flats gang is definatley in the war going on. One thing about compton is that it's real crowded so sometimes theres more than one gang claiming the same street. which means that probably most if not all the big gangs in compton are beefing. what I don't understand is that why ain't they hittin them up with an injuntion?

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Unread post by raphead2001 » July 27th, 2005, 8:55 pm

the homey house in compton just got shot up like last week. but i think its alot of killings in compton is cuz its so close and everybody share hoods. its like the homey stay up in the 151 pirus and the cv 155's is over there 2 and the 155's hit up ck pk so its like alot of compton hoods don't even really have hoods cuz even in yo hood you got enemies. but look at how the t flats and treetops are. you see CV TF ck pk on the wall then drive 5 seconds and see TTP TFk on another wall.

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Unread post by SkoobyDoo » July 27th, 2005, 9:41 pm

raphead2001 wrote:the homey house in compton just got shot up like last week. but i think its alot of killings in compton is because its so close and everybody share hoods. its like the homey stay up in the 151 pirus and the cv 155's is over there 2 and the 155's hit up ck pk so its like alot of compton hoods don't even really have hoods because even in yo hood you got enemies. but look at how the t flats and treetops are. you see CV TF ck pk on the wall then drive 5 seconds and see TTP TFk on another wall.


Damn man, that's insane. The article says of the 44 homicides only nine...NINE warrants have been issued. That's just crazy.

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Unread post by SkoobyDoo » July 27th, 2005, 9:42 pm

So who all in Compton shares a hood...the compton map alfonso has up doesn't show mexican hoods/varrios.

So who shares what?

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Unread post by kcf_4_ever_4_lyfe » July 27th, 2005, 10:10 pm

tysuave wrote:it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!


Torrtilla Flats??? what the hell is the t-flats?

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Unread post by SkoobyDoo » July 27th, 2005, 10:13 pm

kcf_4_ever_4_lyfe wrote:
tysuave wrote:it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!


Torrtilla Flats??? what the hell is the t-flats?


I think he means the tortilla flats, t-flats is just an abbreviation.

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Unread post by kcf_4_ever_4_lyfe » July 27th, 2005, 10:19 pm

I heard somewhere that east los angeles is the gang capital of los angeles which is the gang capital of the world, the city los angeles has like over 150,000 gang members and a 16 square mile neighbourhood(east los angeles) with like 10,000 gang members, that must be fucced up, cause there must be at least one shooting a day and like 2-3 stabbings and like more than 10 fights a day. Compton has the compton varrios, crips, bloods, ms-13, 18th street and alot more major gangs sooo..... Its fuccing possible that there could be alot of fucced up things up in compton. Currently the crime rate is down:

Violent Crime
-28.1%

Property Crime
-12.3%

Overall violent and
property crime down
16.2%

Right now at 1:20 at scarborough canada.

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Unread post by Y.G. » July 29th, 2005, 2:03 am

tysuave wrote:it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!



AND YOU HEARD WRONG BECAUSE THE T-FLATS IS GETTING SERVED, THEY GETTING SERVED SO BAD AT ONE TIME THE WENT TO ANOTHER ENEMY TO TIME UP AGAINST THE FRUIT TOWN BECAUSE THEY ARE HURTING. I TELL YOU THESE BUSTAS ACTING LIKE THE KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON.... ITS A DAMN SHAME.

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Unread post by tysuave » July 29th, 2005, 8:46 am

Y.G. wrote:
tysuave wrote:it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!



AND YOU HEARD WRONG BECAUSE THE T-FLATS IS GETTING SERVED, THEY GETTING SERVED SO BAD AT ONE TIME THE WENT TO ANOTHER ENEMY TO TIME UP AGAINST THE FRUIT TOWN BECAUSE THEY ARE HURTING. I TELL YOU THESE BUSTAS ACTING LIKE THE KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON.... ITS A DAMN SHAME.


thats word on the street nigga!!

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Unread post by mnjmc » July 29th, 2005, 10:46 pm

Y.G. wrote:
tysuave wrote:it might be the t-flats vs the bloods I heard they serveing the pirus!



AND YOU HEARD WRONG BECAUSE THE T-FLATS IS GETTING SERVED, THEY GETTING SERVED SO BAD AT ONE TIME THE WENT TO ANOTHER ENEMY TO TIME UP AGAINST THE FRUIT TOWN BECAUSE THEY ARE HURTING. I TELL YOU THESE BUSTAS ACTING LIKE THE KNOW WHATS REALLY GOING ON.... ITS A DAMN SHAME.


Don't t-flats have major problems with a bunch of other CV gangs, worse than anything going on with Fruit Town? I'm not trying to be disrespectfull but I doubt that if t-falts is hurting that it is only FT doing it to them. Weren't they the ones making FT hurt earlier? Wasn't there a rumor that Fruit Town got together with some other CV, that also claimed PK, to go after t-flats?

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Unread post by StillNoScript » August 5th, 2005, 3:06 am

Guage12 wrote: what I don't understand is that why ain't they hittin them up with an injuntion?


Probably cause there's no business developments happening in Compton right now. Usually that's where the gang injuctions are rooted.

In fact, you can wonder if the City of Compton itself, with it's horrible gang problem and lack of injuctions, is living proof that most of the other injuctions are just to help business.

If gang injuctions are about keeping the community safe from gangs, does Compton count?

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Unread post by raphead2001 » August 6th, 2005, 12:44 pm

i agree

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Unread post by MARTINEZ. » August 6th, 2005, 11:17 pm

COMPTON IS JUMPING LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER RIGHT NOW....

I'M FROM EAST LOS & EAST LOS might be the gang captial of the world,

but it' s not as crazy right now cause most of th hard-core mo'fo's in locked up.. many of them my homies from THE LOTT STONERS /SUR 13 gang...

but don't get it wrong....EAST LOS is where it all started....

MY PERSONAL RESPECT TO TORTILLA FLAT'S IN COMPTONE,

did time with many good vatos from C.V. T-FLATS

However I do believe they have to many enemies going after them...

the go at with all other CV's (SUR) , all CRIPS, all BLOODS,


REMEMBER THIS --- NO MATTER HOW BAD YOU THINK YOU ARE! THERE IS ALWAYS SOME BAD MOTHER FUCKER WAITING TO EARN HIS STRIP ON YOU & PROVE HE IS BADDER.....

ORALE.
MARTINTZ

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Unread post by leftcoast » August 7th, 2005, 1:18 am

south central was the gang capital not east l.a.

east l.a. only averages like 3 homicides a year

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Unread post by mnjmc » August 7th, 2005, 5:32 am

StillNoScript wrote:
Guage12 wrote: what I don't understand is that why ain't they hittin them up with an injuntion?


Probably cause there's no business developments happening in Compton right now. Usually that's where the gang injuctions are rooted.

In fact, you can wonder if the City of Compton itself, with it's horrible gang problem and lack of injuctions, is living proof that most of the other injuctions are just to help business.

If gang injuctions are about keeping the community safe from gangs, does Compton count?


By Corey Q. Bradley
First Amendment Center

09.01.98

The Compton Varrio Tortilla Flats gang may be the latest group to find itself targeted by anti-loitering laws.

Los Angeles County prosecutors last week filed a lawsuit seeking restrictions against gang members to prevent them from confronting, intimidating, harassing or threatening residents.

Critics of such injunctions say these measures violate First Amendment free-speech and assembly rights. Some city officials and community residents disagree, saying the restrictions on gangs are necessary to decrease drug dealing, vandalism and intimidation. The L.A. Police Department emphatically supports these efforts citing the city's compelling interest in combating undesirables. It claims the dramatic reduction in criminal activity outweighs any abridgment of law-abiding citizens' First Amendment rights.

"T-Flats gang members started an ongoing shooting war with another criminal street gang in Compton. At least one gang member has been killed and several others wounded in a series of shootings," said District Attorney Gil Garcetti in a statement after the Superior Court suit was filed.

Jacqueline Jackson, deputy district attorney in S.A.G.E. (Strategies Against Gang Environment), one of the units within L.A. County's Hardcore Gang Division, told free! that the issue of gang injunctions is not a constitutional question.

"Criminal activity is not constitutionally protected," Jackson said. "Public nuisances have a great deal of case law behind them in which you can enjoin [criminals] from doing certain things."

Elizabeth Schroeder, associate director of the ACLU of Southern California, disagreed. She told free!: "This is yet another example of restrictions on the right of association for a fairly large number of people who are alleged to be gang members.

"We think there are other ways to go about ensuring community safety," Schroeder said. "This is strongly violative of the First Amendment right of association. Unfortunately, the courts disagree and on this particular one there is probably very little that can be done. We're not in the posture we wish we were in."

Last year, injunctions aimed at discouraging gang activity were upheld by the California Supreme Court. The court said that gangs are a public nuisance and that injunctions aimed at them are constitutional.

"To hold that the liberty of peaceful, industrious residents ... must be forfeited to preserve the illusion of freedom for those whose ill conduct is deleterious to the community as a whole is to ignore half the promise of the Constitution and the whole of its sense," wrote Justice Janice Rogers Brown in People ex rel. Gallo v. Acuna.

If an injunction is issued in City of Compton v. Compton Varrio Tortilla Flats Gang, it would mark the 22nd granted against gangs in California. A hearing is set for Oct. 1.

"I feel confident based on the amount of evidence I'm giving to the court," Jackson said. "This is a tremendously active gang, and the first of several of gangs in Compton" the gang unit will target.

"We do not violate anyone's rights," Jackson said. "Everything is carefully crafted, and the courts have recognized that we're not overbroad and not overreaching."

State and city officials nationwide will be watching the U.S. Supreme Court next term, when it decides the constitutionality of Chicago's anti-loitering ordinance. An Illinois appeals court and the Illinois Supreme Court have said that the law violates the First Amendment.

For some reason I can't find a follow up on this. Can somebody help?

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Unread post by mnjmc » August 7th, 2005, 5:54 am

MARTINEZ. wrote:COMPTON IS JUMPING LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER RIGHT NOW....

I'M FROM EAST LOS & EAST LOS might be the gang captial of the world,

but it' s not as crazy right now cause most of th hard-core mo'fo's in locked up.. many of them my homies from THE LOTT STONERS /SUR 13 gang...

but don't get it wrong....EAST LOS is where it all started....

MY PERSONAL RESPECT TO TORTILLA FLAT'S IN COMPTONE,

did time with many good vatos from C.V. T-FLATS

However I do believe they have to many enemies going after them...

the go at with all other CV's (SUR) , all CRIPS, all BLOODS,


REMEMBER THIS --- NO MATTER HOW BAD YOU THINK YOU ARE! THERE IS ALWAYS SOME BAD MOTHER FUCKER WAITING TO EARN HIS STRIP ON YOU & PROVE HE IS BADDER.....

ORALE.
MARTINTZ


You are right about that, too many enemies. And let's not forget the cops because they are on t-flats in a tough way, t-flats atrracted way too much police attention. A lot of them were getting arrested real qiuck for any little thing they did. Lot's of their enemies are taking credit for what the cops were doing though. Which I would think is very common between gangs. What do you think?

From reading some of your post I get the impression that you know a lot about gang history. Do you know how they got the name tortilla flats. It just seems like a strange name to me. Thanks.

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Unread post by kcf_4_ever_4_lyfe » August 7th, 2005, 5:59 pm


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Unread post by NW10 » August 7th, 2005, 6:15 pm

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... -headlines

Last year, New Orleans had the highest per capita homicide rate of cities with 100,000 residents or more, with 56.3 homicides per 100,000 residents. At the current pace, Compton's per capita homicide rate this year would be more than 80.

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Unread post by MARTINEZ. » August 8th, 2005, 5:01 pm

ACCORDING TO VETERANOS I DID TIME WITH FROM C.V. TORTILLA FLATS...

THEY ORIGINALLY STARTED IN EAST LOS many, many moons ago in front of

a tortilleria (where they make tortillas) thus the NAME, TORTILLA FLATS,

Most Mexican gangs in L.A. get their name from where they kicked it originally, same for my varrio " THE LOTT 13"

LATER ON THEY MOVED TO COMPTON & THE REST IS HISTORY....

ORALE.
MARTINEZ

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Re: Killings Up in Compton

Unread post by triflin » August 9th, 2005, 10:47 am

mnjmc wrote:Compton Stung by Steep Rise in Killings

The spate of violence, much of it linked to gangs, reverses years of declines in slayings.

By Megan Garvey and Rong-Gong Lin II
Times Staff Writers

July 25, 2005

Compton has recorded 44 slayings this year — more than in all of last year — putting the city of 96,000 on a pace to far surpass homicide rates in the nation's most dangerous big cities.

If the trend continues, Compton could post as many homicides as it did in the early 1990s, when the city averaged nearly 80 killings a year, figures that made headlines amid a record upturn in crime nationwide.

The new outburst of violence — much of it tied to gangs — has alarmed law enforcement officials because it comes after years of declining homicides in the city. Even as the killings in Compton have nearly doubled since last year, nearby areas that also struggle with gang activity, including southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach, have seen homicide rates decline or remain steady.

Until recent months, Compton leaders had used a double-digit decline in violent crime to highlight a turnaround in their long-troubled city. Made synonymous with gangsta rap and ghetto life by N.W.A's landmark 1988 album "Straight Outta Compton," the city — bolstered by its decrease in crime — pursued another image: "to be a viable, affluent, self-reliant and safe community."

Local leaders are hard-pressed to explain how things could change so quickly. And officials in nearby jurisdictions are nervously eyeing the turn for the worse.

The increase in killings accounts for much of the 11% upturn in homicides in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which has served Compton since the city's cash-strapped Police Department was disbanded five years ago. (By contrast, in 2005 the Los Angeles Police Department has recorded a 10% decline in homicides citywide.)

Last year, New Orleans had the highest per capita homicide rate of cities with 100,000 residents or more, with 56.3 homicides per 100,000 residents. At the current pace, Compton's per capita homicide rate this year would be more than 80.

After renewing the sheriff's contract late last year amid community praise for the level of service and declining crime, some city leaders now wonder if having their own police force would make a difference. They also question why deputies have arrested suspects or issued warrants in only nine homicides this year.

"They don't have enough deputies who grew up in the city," said Mayor Eric J. Perrodin, who was a gang officer for the former Compton police force.

"If you're not solving the crime, the killer remains on the street," he added.

Though homicide and gang suppression units are deployed at the discretion of sheriff's headquarters, patrol officers are assigned to cities based on individual contracts.

Sheriff's officials agree that they could use more resources but note that their hands are partly tied by how much the city spends. Compton pays about $13 million a year; that's enough to pay about 75 deputies to patrol the city of 10 square miles.

In contrast, the LAPD's nearby Southeast patrol station — which serves about 150,000 residents living in the Nickerson Gardens public housing project and in other neighborhoods, including Watts — has 258 officers to patrol an area the size of Compton. That station has had 33 homicides this year, down from 44 for the same period a year ago.

On the street in Compton, deputies say, they face a city with a long history of gang activity, gun possession and poverty that combine to make getting to the roots of violent crime difficult.

To make matters more difficult, they have identified no one particular gang conflict or hot spot behind the rise in violent crime. Focusing personnel in one troubled area "doesn't eliminate the rest of the shootings in the city. The shootings remain constant," said Det. April Tardy.

Added Capt. Mike Ford, who heads the Sheriff's Department's gang suppression unit: "You've got to say, 'What's going on here?' "

With no easy explanation of why crime declined for more than a decade, experts worry that a reversal could be quick. Is the doubling of homicides in Compton an anomaly or a sign of things to come?

As the killings have mounted — with little attention paid outside the community and scant new resources made available — the frustration of some longtime deputies has also risen.

"If Beverly Hills or Santa Monica had these many shootings, the politicians and law enforcement would find the courage to put a stop to these shootings," said Lt. Bob Rifkin, who runs operations for Ford's unit. "There is so much apathy in South-Central and in Compton that it's sickening. I see it in the media, in politicians, in law enforcement, in the courts, in the juries."


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Shortly after 11:30 p.m. on June 11, a Saturday, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire on partygoers at a tiny lemon-colored Compton home, wounding a man and four women.

One of the women was eight months pregnant. The gunfire killed her unborn child.

For Alex Leon, a pastor at Victory Outreach church in Compton who has long worked with local gang members, the attack was enough to make him ask how it had gotten so bad.

"She got shot and her baby died, and to me, that needs to stop, because look at this: a kid that wasn't even born, already dead, by violence?" said Leon, shaken enough by the recent shootings — which have killed 10 teenagers — to decide to attend only church parties where he knows all the guests well.

In the weeks since then, 11 more people have been killed in Compton; 10 were shot, one was stabbed. Three died last week: The most recent was the shooting death Friday evening of a man sitting in a car parked near a middle school. In some areas of Compton, killings are clustered, with multiple deaths on the same street, often weeks or even months apart.

Deputies have had little success in solving cases. In more than half of the homicide investigations, they say, the suspect is unknown. In most of the rest, they have only a vague description that includes race and gender.

Also troubling is an even steeper rise in gang-related shootings in Compton and adjacent unincorporated areas — with 111 recorded by the end of April, compared with 54 for the same period a year ago. By the end of June, Compton deputies had reported 147 assaults with firearms compared with 107 for the first six months of 2004.

For state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who called a meeting this month in Pasadena to talk to local law enforcement officials, academics and gang intervention workers about crime, the problems in Compton reflect a larger truth about gangs in California.

"If you look past the short-term numbers and trends, what you do see is a long-term increase in gang activity," Lockyer said. "Is there a worry it spreads? Yes."

Lockyer noted a recent Rand Corp. study done for his department that found that about half the homicides in Los Angeles County were believed to have been tied to gang activity; 25 years ago the portion was about 14%.

In Compton, many homicides and shootings have the hallmarks of gang crime, deputies said. But gang suppression deputies have not traced shootings to specific long-term disagreements among Compton's numerous active gangs, making the violence harder to predict or target.

"It's not just two gangs fighting each other or four gangs fighting each other; it's twentysomething gangs. It's sporadic," said Rifkin, who worked out of Compton until earlier this year, when he became head of operations countywide for the sheriff's gang unit.

By contrast, at the Sheriff's Department's nearby Century station, which covers the city of Lynwood and such unincorporated areas as Willowbrook, Florence and Firestone, officials have identified a gang war believed largely responsible for an increase in homicides and shootings there. A task force has been formed to try to stem the violence, which deputies have traced to a conflict between one black gang and one Latino gang.

In Compton, community leaders say they need help.

"These gangs are your local community terrorists," said Royce Esters, a Compton resident and president of the civil rights group National Assn. for Equal Justice in America. "When they had the Ku Klux Klan, they brought the federal government in."

Esters said he sees deputies patrolling in their cars but rarely getting out to talk to residents. Like others who have watched with alarm as more and more people have been killed this year, he said his area needs more homicide detectives.

Sheriff's officials agree that more deputies are needed.

"If you put a one-person car out in the middle of Compton and he's chasing the radio all day, there is no time for proactive law enforcement," Rifkin said. "Everybody is overloaded."

Perrodin, the mayor, said he hoped that city revenues would rise, making it possible to put more deputies on the street. But he also plans to ask for help from Washington in the form of assistance from agencies that include the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Capt. Eric Hamilton, who heads the Compton sheriff's station, said his deputies had helped to bring crime down significantly over the four previous years.

"I don't want people to believe that we have failed as an organization," Hamilton said. Still, he added, law enforcement in the city has been hindered by the low level of staffing.

"We need more resources; we've asked for more resources," Hamilton said. He said appeals to Compton's City Council have resulted in funding for two more patrol deputies, but he added that far more are needed.

Experts on gang activity said Compton's crisis underscores the cycles of gang violence and how hard it is to predict levels of crime.

"We don't do anything to cause a gang to go away," said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators Assn. and a retired sheriff's gang suppression officer. "They just go quiet for a while."

McBride said the concentration of gangs in and around Compton — an area he said "probably has as many gangs as any place in the world" — makes it a spot to watch for trends. As more people are shot or killed, McBride said, the likelihood increases that the victim has relatives and friends in other areas willing to pick up the fight.

For Velera Dudley, who has lived just east of the Compton Airport for 34 years, the signs of rising crime became obvious in December, when she started noticing more makeshift memorials on the streets where she walks. Now, Dudley said, she and her neighbors don't go out to water their lawns after dark, fearing drive-by shootings.

"We're sick of it," Dudley said.

Willie B. Chatmon, a great-grandmother who lives two blocks from an area hit in the spring with six killings in six weeks, said her children and grandchildren have repeatedly asked her to move.

Although she worries, Chatmon so far has refused to leave her longtime home.

The killings are "increasing more and more. I don't know the reason, but I just want it to stop," Chatmon said as she watered her manicured lawn in the twilight on a recent warm summer evening.

"It's strange; they never find out who kills some of these people."


That sounds like a average year in Gary, Indiana.

peace
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Unread post by peace » August 10th, 2005, 4:57 am

I'd like to see a gang territory map which includes more gangs than just Crips and Bloods...

streetsIswatchin
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Unread post by streetsIswatchin » October 22nd, 2005, 6:22 am

i never heard of 155st hitting up CK PK, but yeah its true about hoods sharing hoods TF and TTP are right next to each other. CVTF has been hittin that shit up for a minute now. and to that guy who doesnt know who the T-Flats are, they are the biggest and most feared gang in compton. No one likes them though.
and havent heard of a CV hood riding with the fruit towns to go after the flats, but the LOCOS13 hate the FLATS. I wouldnt be suprised if they did.
I've known Tortilla Flats too, they are cool, but on the streets its different they like to trip on all other hoods.

Mexican:.805
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Unread post by Mexican:.805 » October 22nd, 2005, 11:43 am

whats making compton so bad? is it that mexicans started moving in fuking up shit raciall tensions? my dad had a friend from compton (blak guy) bak in the early 90's, and my dad said it was a very bad place, and it was prolly bout 99 percent blak. now i hear theres more raZa?

Guage12
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Unread post by Guage12 » October 22nd, 2005, 4:13 pm

Mexican:.805 wrote:whats making compton so bad? is it that mexicans started moving in #%@& up shit raciall tensions? my dad had a friend from compton (blak guy) bak in the early 90's, and my dad said it was a very bad place, and it was prolly bout 99 percent blak. now i hear theres more raZa?




Compton ain't 99% Black.....lol Compton is more Mexican than anything, And yea Compton was bad back in the day and this year it's hot too....But that's only in some parts of Compton not all of it's bad. And what makes compton get bad is cause of the Gangs..

Mexican:.805
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Unread post by Mexican:.805 » October 22nd, 2005, 4:31 pm

yea i know its more raza, i was saying bak in the day it was 99 percent blak

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