SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In the ongoing aftermath of the Los Angeles Police Department’s botched detonation of illegal fireworks in a South LA neighborhood on June 30, officials held a forum Monday night for residents affected by the incident, and its clear that many community members are not happy with the city’s response.
Reporting from the forum, CBSLA’s Rick Montanez leaned that there have been 160 claims filed with the city over the massive explosion.READ MORE: Vigil Held For 18-Year-Old Rylee Goodrich, 1 Of 2 Teen Victims Shot And Killed In Corona Movie Theater
“¿Por que le detonaron en nuestra communidad?” one woman shouted at officials, asking in Spanish why LAPD made the decision to detonate the illegal fireworks on their street in the first place.
She wasn’t alone. Many of the residents at the forum were clearly frustrated and angry. Councilman Curren Price joined the panel in answering questions and discussing the destruction that happened that day.
“I’m outraged by the decision that LAPD made to allow this to happen here, because I too feel that it would never have happened in a more affluent area,” Price said.
In several tense moments, people shouted their distrust over LAPD’s handling of the matter, saying that they want names of the decision-makers that night. Police said they won’t release names, saying it is part of the ongoing investigation.
“I know that we as LAPD have a long road to building trust, in light of not only this incident and many others,” LAPD Deputy Chief Al Labrada told the assembled crowd.
The deputy chief’s remarks, however, did little to put people at ease.READ MORE: More Businesses Like The Abbey in WeHo Setting Own Vaccine Requirements For Customers
“What y’all did was no accident,” Oscar Zarate with Sage Community Group said. “It was intentional. It was a decision.”
Ron Gochez of the South Central Neighborhood Council echoed the sentiment of many others there with his statement to LAPD.
“They thought it’s just South Central. It’s just a bunch of black and brown people. They’re not going to say nothing. They’re not going to do nothing,” Gochez said. “We’re never going to get transparency. We’re never going to get answers.”
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is conducting an investigation and asked community members to wait until that’s complete before getting answers.
Beyond the damage to their homes and property, neighbors said that they’re still traumatized and are demanding help from the city.
“I feel so scared still, to walk around the neighborhood and see the disaster,” one woman told the panel.MORE NEWS: 17-Year Old Girl Violently Assaulted While Jogging In Culver City
An assistance center at the Trinity Recreation Center, which was originally supposed to close tomorrow, will remain open through Friday, Councilman Price announced during the form, because so many people still need help.