SOUTH LOSANGELES (CBSLA.com) — After a weekend involving 13 shootings, some of them deadly, community leaders, clergy and residents of South Los Angeles on Friday called for city leaders to end the violence.
A group of concerned citizens asked leaders to invest more resources into the community, come up with crime prevention and outreach for at-risk youth and adults.
The citizens met at 97th and Normandie, the site two weeks ago where Brian Renee Perry was gunned down outside a liquor store.
Perry’s brother, Tony Perry, was one of many speakers.
“It’s been quite difficult,” he said, “because he was my baby brother.”
Another woman captured the sense of how beleaguered the community feels.
“We’re living in a war zone,” said Olivia Barbour. “I was in the military, and I never saw this much action.”
Two victims of the recent violence: a 4-year-old and an 11-year-old.
Greg Mills reported that the two newest victims were innocent bystanders caught up in shootings.
“There’s helicopters flying 24-7,” Barbour said, “and there’s crime in our streets all day and all night.”
Some attributed the increase in violence in an online challenge between rival gangs.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck attributed it to rival gangs intensifying their dislike for each other in the intense heat of summer.
One mom told Mills she made sure her kids remain active and away from gangs. Her kids are volunteers at the Special Olympics World Games, for example.
Another resident, a 15-year-old girl who grew up in South LA, said: “Everybody complains about police killing black people, but we start killing each other; it doesn’t make no sense.”
She’s trying to remain hopeful but admits it’s not easy.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop,” she said. “It seems like it’s just getting worse.”