Los Angeles: On Thursday Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Chief Bratton, Sheriff Baca, and FBI Director Robert Muller along with other local leaders, vowed to put the 204th Street gang out of business.
Standing in front of the Del Amo Market, a location where Blacks know not to patronize for fear of straying into Latino gang territory and being shot, Mayor Villaraigosa said, “You heard it here first today, we’re here to put the 204th Street gang out of business. We’re coming with everything we have. No one should have to fear for their life because of the color of their skin. Not in our city, not in our county.”
Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who represents the Harbor Gateway area, announced that the cavalry was here!
Chief Bratton said law enforcement officials will focus efforts on ten to twenty of the most violent gangs in the city. “We’re not messing around this time. Spread the word, we are not coming, we are here. We are more united than ever.”
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said an injunction to limit activities of gang members will be imposed in the area. He said that it may take some time for a judge’s approval, but said that the City Attorneys office is committed to shut down gang headquarters. He also said that his office will obtain stay away orders to keep gang members from areas outside of Harbor Gateway.
Deputy Chief Charlie Beck said that you will see multi-agency cooperation. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and Torrance police officers working side-by-side with LAPD officers. Los Angeles Unified School District police will share intelligence that they glean from activities in schools. Agents from the FBI, BATF, and the DEA will provide intelligence, electronic and visual surveillance support as well.
Last year, while overall crime was down, gang crime was up 14 percent in the City of Los Angeles.
To hear the Mayor and the Chief of Police news conference, please click here for the podcast.