Stopping the Violence in South LA

I was in Inglewood at a community forum Wednesday night with the Mayor of Inglewood. The topic: stopping the violence for 2011.

We talked about how kids were always getting things taken from them, how getting shot at and funerals were just a normal part of life in South LA, and how the foster sytem rips apart black families.

The forum felt productive.

However, it's occurrence was very ironic and ultimately tragic and perhaps more desperate, considering the news below which happened the same night just a few blocks away.

A 14-year-old youth was shot and killed Wednesday night while riding a bicycle in South Los Angeles, the latest probable victim of surging violence between two gangs, police said.

Taburi Watson was riding his bike near St. Andrews Place and 87th Street about 7:25 p.m. when one or more assailants fired shots.

So this night marked a few personal milestones for me.
  • the first time I rode the very spacious, bicycle-friendly Green Line.
  • the first time I was going to ride through South LA and Inglewood at night by myself.
  • and perhaps the last time I'll willingly ride thru South LA at night without full body armor.
After getting off at the Hawthorne stop (because I thought it was somehow closer to the meeting), I rode all the way back to Crenshaw Blvd till it intersected with Florence. This was around 6:00 - 6:30. Crenshaw and Manchester is an intersection I passed en route to the forum, just about a mile and a half West, and 45 minutes from where the shooting took place.

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