LAPD Attempts to Improve Trust in Boyle Heights

October 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A rash of officer-involved-shootings targeting Latinos and African Americans has sparked calls for greater transparency in police use of force incidents in the Los Angeles Police Department. Calls for better training of police officers working in neighborhoods like Boyle Heights, where the recent fatal police shooting of a teenager sparked protests and a lawsuit by the victim’s family, are also on the rise.

The relationship between Los Angeles police and the city’s Eastside community is complicated. It’s been that way for generations.

At the Ramona Gardens pubic housing complex in Boyle Heights, for example, police for years were seen more as an occupying force than protectors against the gang-related crime and violence that has plagued the area for decades. Residents complained that LAPD’s “heavy hand” and “racial profiling” had led to many young Latinos being wrongly incarcerated, beaten or shot.

“People had a very negative image of the police,” recalls Sister Mary Catherine Antczak, principal at nearby Santa Teresita School.

On Tuesday, the L.A. Police Commission moved to require police officers to undergo “reality-based” training on a regular basis. Commission President Matt Johnson said he wants more training that “takes officers out of the classrooms, away from the computer” and puts them into “real-life interactive scenarios,” in hopes of de-escalating volatile situations.

A memorial is set up in Boyle Heights at the location where a 14-year-old was shot by an LAPD officer.  (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

A memorial is set up in Boyle Heights at the location where a 14-year-old was shot by an LAPD officer. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

For one group of LAPD officers, positive involvement with Ramona Gardens residents is how they hope to combat years of distrust and de-escalate conflicts.

“Believe it or not, most people here like us,” Officer Rivas told EGP on Monday.

Rivas is one of 10 officers in LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP) unit based out of the Hollenbeck Station and exclusively assigned to Ramona Gardens. Since 2011, the unit’s mission has been to improve community relations while reducing crime. Their efforts have focused on providing services to steer children in the low-income housing complex away from the entrenched Hazard Gang that has for generations called the area home.

“We are here to break that cycle,” says Rivas.

After their daily patrols, officers return to the community to coach after school youth programs, including football, baseball, boxing and folklorico dancing. The officers also host community events and chaperone field trips to sporting events, theme parks and museums.

At first, parents, some of them former gang members, were hesitant to interact with the officers or to allow their children to participate in activities. It was hard to get past their views of abuse, excessive force and racial profiling by the LAPD in their own backyard.

Over the last five years however, may parents have experienced a change of heart and over 100 children ages 6 to 19 now participate in programs offered by CSP, according to Rivas.

“The greatest measure of trust is that these parents let the police interact with their children,” Sister Antczak points out.

Three of Rudy Espinoza’s children participate in the program. He’s lived in Ramona Gardens all his life and recalls that there was a time when he never would have thought of approaching a patrol car, let alone allowing his children to regularly interact with police officers.

“The kids feel safe in their presence,” he now acknowledges. “[The program] has built trust, specially for the younger generation,” he told EGP Monday.

Alejandro Cruz, 14, told EGP he reluctantly joined CSP programs when he was 8-years-old.

“At first I did not trust them,” he said. “But my mother knew at a certain age gangs would try to recruit me,” he explained.

Since then, Cruz has joined the running club, football team and taken trips to Dodgers games and Knott’s Berry Farm with the officers.

“They have motivated me and inspired me to move out of the projects and get more out of life,” says the Cathedral High School student.

Many single mothers in the area rely on the programs, explains Sister Antczek.

Our officers at times serve as father figures to the children, adds Officer Rivas.

“We tell them ‘it’s not where you live, it’s what you do with your life’” that matters, he explains.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Instead of fearing or running from police as they did in the past, Antczak tells EGP she now often sees people, including children, willingly approach officers patrolling the area.

She recalled an occasion when she grew concerned because she saw two eighth-grade students run off during a religious event, but to her surprise, they’d actually taken off to say hello to the local police officers, and were smiling and laughing when she found them.

“Who would believe that when young teenagers see the police they would be running towards them?”

But not everyone feels the same or sees interactions with the LAPD in such a positive light.

Many local activists still distrust the police and point to recent fatal encounters as proof that there is a long way to go before they’ll believe things have changed.

Two months ago, 14-year-old Jesse Romero was shot by a police officer in Boyle Heights during a foot chase. Already reeling from news of police shootings of African Americans and riots in other parts of the country, local activists were outraged that a vandalism call had ended with police shooting and killing the teenager. Protests and demands for justice have been ongoing.

There are conflicting reports about whether Romero shot at police officers; one witness claims the teen threw the gun at a fence, which inadvertently released a gunshot.

Longtime community activist Carlos Montes has been advocating against excessive use of force by the LAPD for years, most recently helping to organize protests in response to the shooting of Romero and others in recent months.

These days it’s hard to gauge whether the relationship between the LAPD and the community has really improved, he told EGP, pointing out that there have been five officer-involved shootings in Boyle Heights since February.

“There are police officers that want to kill and they want to shoot,” he claims. “There is a systematic problem…when is the last time a police officer got prosecuted for murder,” he said, showing that there are still those who don’t trust that justice will ever be served when it comes to cases involving excessive use of force by police.

Montes maintain CSP is just another LAPD “public relations” effort that does not address the core problem.

“Ramona Gardens has had a long history of police brutality and police killings,” Montes said. “They [LAPD] need too stop killing people and stop targeting blacks and browns.”

For the 14-year-old Cruz, police-involved shootings are a concern. He told EGP that when tragic officer-involved shootings take place, especially those involving LAPD, he will ask the officers he knows to explain what happened.

In his view, the LAPD has changed Ramona Gardens for the better. He says parents no longer fear letting their children play outside, something he was not allowed to do when he first moved there.

“It still looks scary, but it feels safer,” he said.

The positive interactions between the officers and children through CSP have also slowly started to change the way their parents view the LAPD presence in Ramona Gardens.

“The kids are ambassadors in some ways,” points out Sister Antczak. “With everything being said about police officers, this program is the way to build trust.”

 

Police Shoot, Wound Man in Lincoln Heights

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A suspect was shot and wounded Wednesday afternoon by police near County-USC Medical Center and the university’s Health Sciences Campus in Lincoln Heights.

No officers were injured in the shooting, which happened about 3:30 p.m. in the area of Zonal Avenue and Cummings Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The suspect was taken to hospital. His age and condition were not immediately available, nor were details about what led to the shooting.

A report from the scene showed a crashed SUV outside a building bearing a USC banner.

An alert issued by USC in the shooting’s immediate aftermath advised students and others to avoid the area.

Just after 5 p.m., LAPD Officer Tony Im said there was no threat to the campus.

Police Videos Should Be Routinely Released to the Public

August 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The latest demonstration of police misconduct and abuse under the color of authority is clearly seen on a video recently obtained by the Los Angeles Times by order of a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

Had the Times not made the video public, the actions of Los Angeles Police Department Officer Richard Garcia may have escaped public scrutiny, to the detriment of Los Angeles residents and police officers who perform their duties with honor.

In the video, Garcia is seen kicking a man being held down by two other officers. Over the next 10 seconds, Garcia punches and elbows the man in the head and knees him in the back.

The other two officers move away, while Garcia continues to press his knee into the man’s back for two minutes, only stopping when other officers pick up and drag the handcuffed man to a patrol car.

It’s important to note that the man in the video, identified as Clifford Alford, Jr., was handcuffed as the abuse was administered.

The video was taken in 2014 but only just released because the court ordered the LAPD to make the video available to the media outlet.

The LAPD continues to fight efforts to require that videos involving arrests and alleged incidents of abuse by police be released to the public.

As the LAPD continues to step up its use of officers wearing cameras, we believe it’s time for the department to change its stance and make the video recordings available to the public. Doing so will promote greater transparency in the department’s dealings with the public, and help restore the public’s trust of officers who are supposed to protect them.

The amount of time the LAPD gets to review the videos before their release to the public should be kept to a minimum.

EGP believes that the charged atmosphere surrounding police arrests and officer-involved-shootings would likely not become so volatile and in some cases be de-escalated with greater transparency from the department, especially when there is a video available.

Giving Angelenos the opportunity to view actual video, rather than speculate what went down, will allow them to determine for themselves if a police officer’s actions were justified.

In our view, the majority of cops are upstanding and should not be thrown into the same barrel with the bad apples. However, in cases like that involving Officer Garcia, good cops must be more aggressive in stopping the types of abuses seen on the video, and those that occur out of sight of the camera lens, both for their own good and the good of the department.

The public needs to be assured that its police officers, and the LAPD hierarchy, especially Chief Beck, will not just turn a blind eye on the abusive actions of their fellow officers.

‘Black Lives Matter’ Petitions Demand LAPD Chief’s Ouster

August 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Black Lives Matter activists who have been camped outside Los Angeles City Hall since early last month delivered a petition with more than 8,000 signatures to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office Monday to demand that he fire police Chief Charlie Beck.

The activists were joined by the mother of a woman who died in a detention cell earlier this year, actor Matt McGorry and representatives of the Asian American, Latino and faith communities.

The delegation handed over two boxes of signatures, gathered through an online petition at Color of Change, to Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell, Garcetti’s adviser on public safety issues.

Gorell said he will pass the signatures on to Garcetti, who has been out of town for most of the 28 days that Black Lives Matter activists have staged a sit-in outside City Hall. The sit-in began after the Police Commission upheld the actions of officers involved in the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Redel Jones, a black woman.

Over the past several weeks, Garcetti has attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, taken a four-day vacation and is now observing the Olympics in Rio as part of a delegation seeking to host the 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Before leaving on his trips, Garcetti expressed strong support for Beck. He said he offered to meet inside City Hall with a small delegation from Black Lives Matter, while suggesting that he does not want to be met with shouting. The activists have responded by calling for a public meeting with the entire group.

Black Lives Matter member Jasmine Abdullah Monday characterized Garcetti’s absence as part of a pattern that began when he appeared to “run away from us” at other protests and encounters with the group.

Abdullah warned there will be “political consequences” if Garcetti continues to ignore them.

“We are not sitting out here just to sit out here,” but are taking actions such as circulating the online petition and amassing more support from the community, she said.

“If you really care about this city like you say you do, and you want to win in this next election, you better come home,” Abdullah said, directly addressing Garcetti in what she jokingly described as a “love letter.”

She acknowledged that Garcetti has offered to meet with five of the Black Lives Matter members in his office, but she such an arrangement puts their group at a disadvantage.

“They are doing what they do best, which is divide and conquer, and try to pick their leaders,” she said. “We decided he needs to come downstairs.

“It’s all right, he can come downstairs, these are his stairs, and ours, he can come talk to everybody as a whole.”

After being pursued from public event to public event by Black Lives Matter members, and since being shouted down at a South Los Angeles town hall by the group’s members, Garcetti has had minimal engagement with Black Lives Matter members.

He has instead increased his interactions with other faith leaders, nonprofit organizations, activists and even hip hop artists like The Game and Snoop Dogg, often referring to these relationships as evidence black leaders are working with his office and the Los Angeles Police Department to improve policing and public safety.

Despite LAPD’s roll-out of community policing and other programs to enhance relations with black and minority communities, Black Lives Matter activists contend LAPD still has the highest number of police shootings of any department in the country. They also allege Beck has been too lenient on officers who have fatally shot residents, and is unresponsive to families regarding the deaths of people in police custody.

Lisa Hines, the mother of Wakiesha Wilson, a 36-year-old black woman who was found dead in her cell on Easter Sunday, spoke during the news conference Monday about her experience trying to find her daughter after she failed to show up for a court hearing.

Hines said the police department unnecessarily delayed telling her of her daughter’s death, and that she had to make several phone calls to the LAPD before she was given a phone number – without any further explanation – to the coroner’s office.

“If this was your child and you were looking for her, and somebody gave you a number to call … and when you do call the number, the coroner’s office answers, what would be going on in your body mind and soul?” she said.

Hines said she is “still devastated” and has so far not gotten any more information about how her daughter died, which she blames on Beck.

“He’s the leader of the police station, and all he can do at the Police Commission meetings is sit there with a blank stare on his face when I’m talking,” she said.

The Black Lives Matter activists’ demand for Beck to be fired was echoed by representatives of other groups who also expressed dissatisfaction with the chief.

McGorry, who stars in the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” and the ABC drama “How to Get Away With Murder,” said he was there “in solidarity with White People 4 Black Lives,” a group of white people who support the Black Lives Matter movement.

McGorry, noting that Black Lives Matter activists “have been camped out here for nearly a month now and have been requesting a meeting,” said Garcetti’s absence comes off as “incredibly disrespectful.”

He added he was recently “disgusted” by an encounter with an officer who casually assured him that he shouldn’t “worry,” because “we beat him up,” apparently referring to a person involved in a police incident in his neighborhood.

“A police chief that has an environment that allows that to be OK, a police community where that can thrive … is not okay,” McGorry said.

Audrey Kuo, from API for Black Lives, said, “We are rising in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and we are demanding that Eric Garcetti fire Chief Beck.”

Teen Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

August 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

BOYLE HEIGHTS – A 14-year-old boy killed in an officer-involved shooting in Boyle Heights was seen by a witness firing a handgun in the direction of officers before he was shot, police said Wednesday.

No officers were injured in the shooting, which occurred at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Breed Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Jesse James Romero of Los Angeles died at the scene, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

At a news conference this morning at police headquarters, LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos said officers had gone to the neighborhood on a report of vandalism involving “gang writing,” and that the suspects were described as being about 14-16 years of age.

Arcos said officers spotted two suspects, and one fled on foot.

“According to a witness, who saw the subject running from the officers, the witness saw the subject shoot a handgun in the direction of the pursuing officers,” Arcos said.

He said the pursuing officers heard a gunshot as they approached a corner during the pursuit.

“As the officers rounded the corner, one of the officers became involved in an officer-involved shooting,” he said.

Arcos told reporters he could not say if the officer who shot Romero was under fire at the time the teen was shot. The investigation was “ongoing” and officers were still being interviewed, he said.

Officers were wearing body cameras, and the recorded images will be part of the investigation, Arcos said. Also, Arcos said he could not say if Romero was involved in gangs.

At the news conference, police displayed a large photo of what they said was a loaded revolver that was recovered at the shooting scene. The handgun is being tested for DNA and fingerprints, Arcos aid.

In an earlier briefing from the scene of the shooting, LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar said Gang Enforcement Detail officers had gotten into the foot pursuit with suspects in the area of Chicago Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

Arcos said that so far this year, the department has had four officers fired upon and two who have been shot.

“The tragedy of this event cannot be understated,” he said. “In a community where violent crime continues to rise, particularly gang crime, this event underscores the need for youth programs and outreach to provide opportunities and alternatives for the youth of our communities.”

Teresa Dominguez, who said she is Romero’s mother, told KPCC radio her son “was a good boy.”

“He didn’t do anything violent,” she said, noting that the family has lived in Boyle Heights for six years, and she works as a vegetable packer.

Lourdes Miranda, who said she knew Romero, told KPCC the teen “was in the gangs” but he was “a good kid.”

“He was smart. He was friendly. He did good in school,” Miranda said.

“Very respectful, never disrespected anyone. Always quiet.”

She added: “Kids are dumb. They think it makes them cool or whatever.”

Ultimately, however, “he didn’t deserve this,” Miranda said.

The shooting was the second on Tuesday that involved LAPD officers. Officers shot and wounded a man shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday during a traffic stop in the 5500 block of Nordyke Street near Eagle Rock, according to the LAPD.

The suspect in that shooting, a man in his 30s, was hospitalized in stable condition. A handgun was recovered at the shooting scene, police said.

Man Wounded in Drive-By Shooting

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A 33-year-old man was walking down a street in Boyle Heights when he was wounded in a drive-by shooting, and the gunman remains at large, police said Wednesday.

The shooting took place in the 3100 block of Lanfranco Street about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to Sgt. Miguel Lopez, the watch commander at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Division.

“The victim was walking down the street and four gunshots were fired,” Lopez said. “The victim was hit once in the calf.”

The man was transported by city fire paramedics to a hospital for treatment of his non-life-threatening wound.

“So far, we don’t have any suspect description,” Lopez said early this morning.

A motive for the shooting was unknown. There’s no word yet on whether the shooting was gang-related.

Anyone with information on this shooting was asked to call the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division at (323) 342-4100. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. All tips can be submitted anonymously.

Sups. to Re-Evaluate Anti-Gang Tactics

April 28, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday directed county staffers to re-evaluate anti-gang tactics employed over the last two decades under a partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl proposed taking a second look at the Community Law Enforcement and Recovery program, known as CLEAR.

“We need to have more inclusivity,” Solis said.

Kuehl said she was reminded of outdated efforts to solve student truancy by handing out tickets to offenders, rather than looking at the underlying issues driving absences.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said the multi-agency program – aimed at “recovery of gang-infested communities” – was adopted in 1997, when he was a Los Angeles City Council member.

But based on a recent rise in gang violence and the fact that more than half of the city’s homicides are believed to be gang-related, Ridley-Thomas said it was time to reconsider whether CLEAR was working.

“The default (of CLEAR) is not prevention. The default is not intervention. The default is not re-entry. It’s suppression,” Ridley-Thomas said, adding that the funds might be better used for intervention or restorative justice programs.

Under the program, police presence in gang neighborhoods was stepped up and officers focused on arresting gang members. Armed probation officers ride along and participate in search and seizures and special operations targeting gang members.

The agencies share gang intelligence.

Supervisor Don Knabe asked why none of the CLEAR units, which sit in nine LAPD divisions, are based out of sheriff’s stations.

As discussion ensued, it seemed Knabe knew the answer.

“There was a different chief and a different sheriff that were having a little battle at the time,” Knabe said.

Sherman Block was sheriff at the time the program was initiated and was succeeded the following year by Lee Baca. Former LAPD Chief Willie Williams left his post in May 1997 and was replaced by Bernard Parks before the year was out.

The county currently receives $267,000 in federal and city funding for CLEAR, which offsets 15 percent of the department’s cost, according to interim Probation Chief Cal Remington.

Staffers were directed to look at how CLEAR sites were chosen, analyze the results and assess whether the program is consistent with the most recent research on effective gang intervention.
CLEAR is one of many programs aimed at reducing gang violence in Southern California.

Hushing Outrage: Police Commission Stands Down

September 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles Police Commission postponed a discussion Tuesday on proposed meeting rules that would prohibit public speakers from making “repetitious, personal, impertinent or profane remarks,” but the proposal still raised the ire of activists who claimed the panel was trying to silence them.

The proposed policy, released on Friday, has also drawn concern from ACLU attorneys who contend the rules may trample on free speech rights and public meeting laws.

Black Lives Matter activists have been attending Police Commission meetings since last year’s fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man in South Los Angeles.

Tensions have mounted in recent months, with activists calling for the firings of the officers who shot the 25-year-old man, and today the activists lashed out at the panel itself, saying its members should be replaced.

Commission President Steve Soboroff halted two consecutive meetings in recent weeks because he deemed demonstrations by Black Lives Matter activists too disruptive.

Under the proposed rules requested by Soboroff, anyone who addresses the panel during the formal public comment period would be required to behave in “an orderly manner and shall refrain from making repetitious, personal, impertinent or profane remarks regarding or directed toward any member of the board, staff or the general public.”

The decorum rules also prohibit audience members from taking part in “loud, threatening or abusive language, whistling, stamping feet or other acts which cause a disruption of the meeting or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the meeting.”

Failing to follow the rules could mean being removed from the board room, and resisting removal could result in arrest and prosecution.

In a letter delivered to the commission, ACLU staff attorney Catherine Wagner warned that the policy’s language could be “construed in ways inconsistent with the protections for free speech in both the United States and California constitutions.”

Wagner wrote that the restrictions against speech that is “personal, impertinent, profane, or abusive” should not be considered “actual disruption” of a meeting. She urged that the board revise the policy so that the act of speaking would not be considered disruptive.

“The board cannot require that public speakers or members of the public who attend commission meetings be courteous, respectful, polite, or even that they refrain from using accusatory, inflammatory, offensive, or insulting language,” she said.

In a response Tuesday to an email from Wagner, Police Commission Executive Director Richard Tefank wrote that after consulting the City Attorney’s Office, he removed the proposal from Tuesday’s meeting agenda and would bring it back “as it is currently drafted or revised” during the Sept. 15 meeting, in an effort to make sure the rules comply with the U.S. Constitution and the state’s Brown Act requirements.

The Commission postponed discussion on the rules, but did not set a date for when the rules will be brought back.

Soboroff told City News Service on Monday that he asked attorneys from the City Attorney’s Office and Tefank to draw up the proposed policy after the recent disruptions, which caused him to stop the meetings.

“I’m not about to let people cancel the meetings of the Los Angeles Police Commission whenever they want to get up and start screaming,” Soboroff said.

Saying he understands public speakers and audience members have the freedom to say what they want, he does take issue with participants who “walk around chanting and ranting” in the boardroom.

“We can’t conduct a meeting when the audience is running amok,” he said.

Soboroff said he is open to the ACLU’s proposed revisions and has his own ideas for changing the language, including taking out the restriction against repetitious remarks. He said he emailed Wagner asking for “wordsmithing” suggestions on changing the policy’s language.

Soboroff said he considers the policy “a friendly way to remind people that we have business to do.”

Melina Abdullah of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter responded to the rules saying they are clearly directed at its members.

The rules are “one of the most blatant efforts to silence an engaged public in recent memory and a direct attack on Black Lives Matter and the black public,” she told CNS.

Abdullah said that instead of seeing the increased participation of Black Lives Matter members “as a nod to the democratic process, the Police Commission has taken a staunchly adversarial stance.”

Soboroff defended his reaction to the Black Lives Matter activists, saying “I know that I have the obligation to listen to abusive statements because you know, people have the right to say what they want to say … but don’t expect me to respond or have to look them in the eye.”

Suspect Arrested in Glassell Park Shooting

August 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A young man was in custody Wednesday for allegedly shooting a woman who was found dead in a car in the Glassell Park area.

Alexis Madera, 18, was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held on $1 million bail, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.

The body 31-year-old Desiree Ramirez of Los Angeles was discovered about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday in a vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 3200 block of Isabel Drive. She had been shot in the upper body.

Madera was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

Police did not offer a motive for the crime.

John Kavanaugh, 80, said the neighborhood where he’s lived most of his life has been plagued by violence.

“I heard nothing overnight, but that’s nothing unusual because almost constantly we have problems in this area, all the time,” he said Tuesday. “We do not have control of our community here.”

It was the fourth unrelated shooting death in Glassell Park in 10 days, according to Los Angeles police.

Northeast Division police Capt. Jeffrey Bert said Tuesday that the department takes the shootings seriously, closing the area for several hours while police, and an airship searched the area for a suspect.

 

National Night Out

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of residents from Boyle Heights gathered in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck Station Tuesday night to celebrate National Night Out.

(Courtesy of the Office of Boyle Heights Wolfpack)

(Courtesy of the Office of Boyle Heights Wolfpack)

“National Night Out is about law enforcement and the community coming together for a common goal: make our neighborhoods safer and promote peace in our communities,” said Councilman Jose Huizar.

Other areas celebrating the National Night Out to “take back the streets” and prevent violence and crime in their area included, Northeast, El Sereno, East Los Angeles, Montebello and Monterey Park.

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