Gang Violence in Los Angels: Another Form of Terrorism in America
Istvan Simon writes: The New York Times (i0/15/04) has a shocking story of how an innocent 14 year old boy was gunned down by gang violence in Los Angeles. According to the story, the boy was not related in any way to gangs, and his callous cold blooded murder shocks the conscience of all decent people in America. We must reclaim our cities from these murderous hoodlums not just in Iraq but also right here at home. We must use the same systematic methods needed in Iraq to vanquish these monsters. One more for the insanity of the NRA and the easy availability of weapons in America.
I enclose some quotes from the story:
Byron Lee, a 14-year-old Los Angeles boy, was shot to death, apparently by gang members with whom he had no involvement. A memorial stood in front of his home on Thursday. - The recent murder of a 14-year-old boy, who begged on his knees before being killed, has shocked the conscience of a city inured to violence on its troubled south side. Most disturbing, investigators say, is the fact that the boy, Byron Lee Jr., a ninth grader at Fremont High School, appeared to be an innocent victim. At 2:10 p.m. last Saturday, he was riding his bicycle through an alleyway near his home in the South Central section of the city when two men in a dark-colored car shot him. As the boy fell to the ground, the two men got out of their car and unloaded their weapons into his face and torso. He was struck 19 times. The brutality of the murder has led to more attention than the usual south side shootings receive, and highlights the fact that there are two distinct Los Angeleses existing uneasily side by side. There is one to the north of the Santa Monica Freeway, replete with convertible sports cars and homes where old trees grow. Then there is the Los Angeles south of the freeway, the one of chronic unemployment and gangs and houses with bars over the windows. The Bloods represent themselves with red clothing, the Crips wear blue. As a measure of self-preservation, residents of southern Los Angeles wear neither. Byron was wearing black," said his uncle, Dwayne Marshall, 18. "Is it too much to ask that kids should be able to go out and play? When Chief Bratton accepted his job two years ago, he referred to gang members as "terrorists," and was roundly criticized by church leaders, academics and politicians as uninformed and counterproductive. But in Byron's neighborhood on Thursday, residents said Chief Bratton was nothing if not correct. "When the night comes, I lock myself in the house," said Minnie Davis, 80, who lives across the street from the alley where Byron was slain. "I ask myself, Lord, why? Why are young people fighting each other, killing one another? The police, the mayor. They can't fix it. It's beyond that." Byron will be buried on Saturday at the Inglewood Cemetery."
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