Tensions shroud Inglewood in the wake of homicides
Racial friction between Black and Hispanic gangs suspected as root cause
...The problems produced by placing such a tremendous amount of firepower in the hands of our youth are exacerbated by a terrifying fact: Most juveniles don’t have very good aim. In 1989, Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner reported that half of all drive-by shooting fatalities (a practice common to gangs) in his city were “innocent bystanders” (Harper, 1989, pp. 12-15). Recently, one gang member explained the problem: “Keep in mind we don’t have no target ranges were we get prolific with these guns” (Bing, 1989). In communities ravaged by gang violence, it is the stray bullet people fear the most. -From the National Center for Victims of Crime website
Inglewood, Calif.—Although the above caption is several years old, the essence of this statement rings true in this, the final year of the first decade of this millennium. Gang violence, a staple of Southern California culture over the past few decades, has again reared its ugly head in Inglewood.
Friction between the Inglewood 13 Gang (I-13) and the Inglewood Neighborhood Piru’s (INP) recently reached a fever pitch with the Nov. 30 murder of Ahmid Kabba, 30, a native of Sierra Leone, near the intersection of Plymouth and Inglewood avenues, and the death of Gwendolyn Taylor, 61, a few blocks away at Rogers Park (Ed Vincent) Dec. 11. Both were gunned down.
Kabba is described as an outgoing person with a quick smile. He had just left the “Quicky Mart,” located near Inglewood and Centinela avenues, when he was accosted by two male Hispanics armed with a shotgun. After shooting him, the assailants fled in a newer model white Ford F-Series pickup truck. Kabba was treated by paramedics, but died at the scene.
Taylor had been picnicking at the park with her grandkids, and was in the process of taking leftovers to her car, when she crossed the path of her pistol-toting assailant, who was chasing another youth. As shots rang out, she attempted to shield her 5-year-old grandson, and in the process was struck in the rib cage. Taylor later died from her wounds at a nearby hospital.
The shooter was described as a thinly built, dark-skinned Black male 5’9” to 5’10,” dressed in dark clothing. The intended target, a male Hispanic who’d been at the park in the company of family members, was interviewed and released by police. Authorities were unwilling to give out any further information on this individual.
Inglewood Police Department spokesperson Lt. Oscar Serrano acknowledged that friction has been building between African American and Latino youth over the past five to six weeks, but declined to identify any particular group, or to categorize the involved parties as gang members.
In the aftermath of the shootings, some 40 concerned family and friends of Kabba along with members of the local Muslim community showed up at city hall on Tuesday evening, seeking an audience with Mayor Danny Tabor. Tension permeated the air as the city’s chief executive explained he was obligated to chair that evening’s City Council meeting, but agreed to a Town Hall meeting at 222 W. Manchester Blvd. Friday, Dec. 17 at 6p.m.
During the council meeting’s public comment period, concerns were raised about the possibility of a turf war, the lack of resident cooperation with police due to fear of reprisals, and budget cuts that have dried up funding for community programs and gang-intervention efforts.
The Taylor murder puts the tally of Inglewood homicides this year at 21. Further complicating this issue are the police-involved shootings that have placed the department and Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks under scrutiny from the media, the public, and the United States Justice Department.
In addition to the previously mentioned town hall meeting, a march sponsored by the Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation is scheduled for Saturday, at 3 p.m., starting at the Department of Motor Vehicles at 621 N. La Brea Ave. in Inglewood. Further information is available at (323) 777-4893, or Wazier A. Jalil at (310) 462-3108.
INGLEWOOD, Calif.—The gunman who killed a 61-year-old great-grandmother and wounded a teenage boy at an Inglewood park over the weekend remained at large today.
The shooting occurred about 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Rogers Park, 400 W. Beach Ave., said Lt. Steve Overly of the Inglewood Police Department.
Gwendolyn Taylor died at a hospital. The 15-year-old boy was treated at a hospital for an arm wound.
An afternoon news conference is planned at police headquarters to seek public help in solving the crime.
Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC) will celebrate 15 years of serving youth in the Watts and South Los Angeles area by hosting the WVTC Coming of Age fundraiser Monday at the California African American Museum, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
INGLEWOOD, Calif.—The city has announced a $25,000 reward in hopes of tracking down the gunman who killed a great-grandmother and wounded a teenage boy last month in a suspected gang shooting at a local park.
Gwendolyn Taylor, 61, was on a Saturday afternoon outing with her family when she was shot at Rogers Park. Taylor died at a hospital.
The other victim, a 15-year-old boy, was treated at a hospital for an arm wound.
When 2nd Lt. Emily Perez was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, she became the first female African American officer to die in combat. Perez, an outstanding West Point graduate, was mourned by two communities because, while she looked like a Black woman, she came from a Black-Latino family.
Nearly one-third of African American students (32.9 percent) and one-quarter of Hispanic pupils (23.8 percent) dropped out during the 2007-08 school year compared to 18.9 percent of youngsters overall in California.
That figure from the California Department of Education represents a four-year adjusted rate and also the first time officials say they have been able to determine a true drop-out rate.