Ezell Ford shot three times at close range in South LA

Ferguson protesters reach the site where Ezell Ford was killed last August. | Daina Beth Solomon

Ferguson protesters reach the site where Ezell Ford was killed last August. | Daina Beth Solomon

An unarmed, 25-year-old Black man killed by police last summer in South L.A. was shot three times at close range, according to an autopsy report released today.

Ezell Ford was hit on his right side, back and right arm, according to the medical examiner. The doctor wrote in the report that a muzzle imprint on Ford’s back suggested close contact with officers, which correspondents with their version of events.

Ford was walking home on West 65th Street near Broadway on Aug. 11 when two Los Angeles Police Department officers approached him, according to a police statement. [Read more…]

Footnotes from South LA schoolday walks

By Randal Henry and Manal Aboelata-Henry

As parents guide their kids to school on foot, the family experiences the joys of living in a walkable neighborhood. They soon launch Crenshaw Walks to encourage others to join.

The Henry family proudly wears Crenshaw Walks t-shirts at the 2014 Taste of Soul. | Randal Henry

The Henry family proudly wears Crenshaw Walks t-shirts at the 2014 Taste of Soul. | Randal Henry

It’s 7:20 AM on a brisk, sunny Monday in South L.A. Brothers Taj and Sadiq check the ‘‘velcro’’ on their hushpuppies and take one last look to make sure lunch pails and homework folders are tucked into their backpacks. Check. Off they go to the nearest Metro Station, about a 12 minute walk. Many people walk in our neighborhood, so most days, Taj and Sadiq say hello to other Crenshaw Manor walkers or talk to their parents along the way.

If the car traffic on Coliseum St. isn’t too heavy and the lights at Crenshaw and Rodeo are just right, they’ll stroll up the platform just in time for the 7:40 train. They might even have an extra moment to find a penny someone’s left behind at the TAP machine. Some days they get stuck waiting for a lull in the steady stream of cars at an unmarked crosswalk at Coliseum or the light at Crenshaw won’t turn until they’ve seen the eastbound train bolt through the intersection. In that case, they wait for the 7:52 train. But, either way, the 7 minute train ride will get them to school well in time for their 8:05 bell.  [Read more…]

Magnificent Dunbar Hotel extends performance run to Dec. 28

Dunbar Hotel in 1928 | DWP

Dunbar Hotel in 1928 | DWP

The Dunbar Hotel was not just any hotel, as suggested by the title of the Robey Theatre Company’s extended production “The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel” — it was a cultural hub where Black writers, singers and actors gathered in Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s.

The play written by Levy Lee Simon and directed by Ben Guillory introduces the audience to this world of luxury on Central Avenue that harbored Black leaders and performers from the Jim Crow laws that prohibited them from staying elsewhere.

“Informative and engaging, this underappreciated chapter of our local history is portrayed with panache and grace,” Philip Brandes said in his L.A. Times review. [Read more…]

LAUSD board members look to slow charter school expansion + Grand opening for South LA park

Students at LAUSD school. | Photo by Clotee Allochuku (Flickr Creative Commons)

Students at LAUSD school. | Photo by Clotee Allochuku (Flickr Creative Commons)

LAUSD board looks to slow charter school expansion: Board members fear that an increase in charter schools will divert state funding to LAUSD. A recent approval for charter schools in Boyle Heights and South L.A. through KIPP is expected to cost LAUSD $35 million in funding. (Daily News)

Gladys Jean Wesson Park opens: The new park in West Adams is the second park opened in the 10th district in two weeks. The park is named after Council member Herb Wesson’s late mother. (L.A. Sentinel)

Rising costs of special education costs parents: The cost of the LAUSD special education program is rising as the number of students becomes more concentrated. Parents, including those in South L.A., are feeling the financial pressure. (KPCC)

Man stabs ex-wife’s boyfriend to death: A man stabbed his ex-wife’s boyfriend to death in South L.A. early Monday morning. (ABC)

An ex-gang member on curtailing South LA’s recidivism rate

Beron Thompkins in class at the Black Male Youth Academy. | Photo courtesy of the Social Justice Learning Institute

Beron Thompkins in class at the Black Male Youth Academy. | Photo courtesy of the Social Justice Learning Institute

Beron Thompkins remembers his first encounter with the Los Angeles Police Department when he was a 12-year-old. He and his 14-year-old cousin were walking down the street in their South L.A. neighborhood when two policemen driving by asked them to pull up their shirts.

“We were minding our own business. They didn’t ask us where we were going and they didn’t tell us to stop,” Thompkins said. “My cousin said, ‘Ignore them.’ So, we kept walking.”

Thompkins said the police then sped up, swerved in front of them, and threw them onto the hood. The police told them that they had received a call that two black men had just robbed a lady in a nearby park.

[Read more…]

Parents launch new South LA high school + Documentary on Grim Sleeper examines law enforcement

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. is suspected of killing up to 100 South L.A. women | Flickr Creative Commons

Lonnie David Franklin Jr. is suspected of killing up to 100 South L.A. women | Flickr Creative Commons

Parents launch South L.A. high school: Parents collaborated to launch Nava College Preparatory Academy this fall to fill the need in South L.A. for quality high school education. (L.A. Times)

Black women’s lives matter: Film reveals little-known story of Grim Sleeper: A documentary examines the attitude of law enforcement towards the murders of Black women in South L.A. in the 1980s and 1990s and questions why the suspected killer was not arrested sooner. (Truth Dig)

Murder of transwoman in South L.A. marks 12th this year: The murder of Deshwanda Sanchez in South L.A. marks a dozen murders of a transgender people throughout the country this year. (Edge Media)

LAPD officer gives away coats: Police officer Jerome Divinity, who grew up in South L.A., buys 150 coats each year to donate to South L.A. schools. (ABC)

South L.A. neighborhood council calls for elected oversight panel for LAPD: Residents in South L.A. call for Curren Price to spearhead a ballot measure that would create a panel to oversee LAPD disciplinary matters. (City Watch L.A.)

Tornado tears through South LA, ripping five roofs and spooking all

South L.A., moments before the tornado swirled in earnest, caught on tape by an onlooker. |ABC7 screenshot

South L.A., moments before the tornado swirled in earnest, caught on tape by an onlooker. | ABC7 screenshot

Well, this is a rare headline.

A tornado swirling at least 65 miles per hour touched down in South Los Angeles Friday morning, ripping the roofs off several homes, flinging trash and debris into the air and leaving onlookers gaping in disbelief at the vicious, rare display of weather.

Some recorded videos that the National Weather Service later used to rank the mini-twister at level EF0, the smallest on the scale, which can spin up to 85 miles per hour.

“Look at that, look at that!” said one man in a heavily bleeped-out video obtained by ABC7, just seconds before the tornado began spinning in earnest. “What the bleep!” he exclaimed, multiple times, as palm trees swayed at their waists and debris got catapulted over his head and onto the adjacent roof.

In less than a minute, it was over. “Look what that did to our neighborhood, yo,” the cameraman concluded in astonishment.

Watch the action here:

According to the L.A. Times, the fierce wind succeeded at damaging a total of five homes, including tearing the roof off a duplex. A steel-edged sign that crashed into a window at the Garr Learning Center spooked the preschoolers inside, but none were injured.

To see the damage for yourself, visit the intersection of S. Vermont and W. Gage and head to 57th St. and Figueroa.

Did you see the tornado?! Tell us about it in the comments below and email pictures to [email protected] 

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Lark Galloway-Gilliam, South LA health activist, dies at 61

Lark Galloway-Gilliam | re-code LA

Lark Galloway-Gilliam | re:code LA

Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the founder of activist organization Community Health Councils who pushed for quality health and healthcare in South L.A., has died. She was 61. Among many accomplishments, the native Angeleno helped create an ordinance limiting fast food eateries, recruited grocery stores featuring nutritious options, led the charge against a toxic oil field and brought health education to underserved groups.

An obituary in the Los Angeles touches on the impact of her legacy, cultivated since founding her nonprofit in the wake of the 1992 L.A. Riots:

“As the founder of Community Health Councils, Galloway-Gilliam worked with lawmakers, corporate executives and residents to tackle institutional problems that have plagued South L.A. Along the way, she helped cultivate the next generation of activists by hosting workshops to teach residents how to protect their community.”

[Read more…]

Addressing South LA slum housing + LAPD officer caught on tape swinging baton at protestors

Photo by Chris Yarzab (Flickr Creative Commons)

Photo by Chris Yarzab (Flickr Creative Commons)

Addressing South L.A. slum housing: South L.A. organization Strategic Actions for a Just Economy works with residents to document slum conditions and file complaints. (KCET)

LAPD officer caught on tape swinging baton at protesters: LAPD faces accusations of excessive force after an officer was caught on tape swinging his baton at a crowd of protesters in South L.A. (ABC)

South L.A. community activist dies: Lark Galloway-Gilliam, a South L.A. community activist who fought to improve health and environmental quality in the community, died Dec. 1 at the age of 61. (L.A. Times)

LAPD gives away 1,000 pairs of shoes: LAPD’s 77th Street Station hosted “Operation Shoes from Santa,” a collaboration between LAPD and local businesses to give 1,000 pairs of shoes to kids in South L.A. (ABC)

Whites earn twice as much as Latinos in L.A.: L.A. Weekly takes a look at income inequality in Los Angeles. (L.A. Weekly)


Three South LA friends hope to live to 21 + Military retailer Leimert Park’s unwelcome neighbor

Leimert Park | Photo Credit: Skylar E Myers

Leimert Park | Photo Credit: Skylar E Myers

Three South LA friends hope to live to 21: Three young men raised in South L.A. hoped to live past 21 years old. Now only Isaiah Bell carries this hope. (L.A. Times)

Military retailer is Leimert Park’s unwelcome neighbor: Leimert Park residents want to promote a bustling cultural hub and fear a local military retailer will negatively impact revitalization efforts. (L.A. Times)

CicLAvia comes to South L.A.: The 11th annual CicLAvia event welcomed people from all over Los Angeles to explore South L.A. (ABC)

Mayor expects Ezell Ford autopsy released by end of year: Mayor Garcetti hopes the autopsy, which was on hold for security clearance, will be released in the upcoming weeks. (CBS)

South LA gang co-leader sentenced: Co-leader of Mexican Mafia-controlled gang was sentenced to six years behind bars. (My News L.A.)

Doctor sentenced in fraud case:  A doctor who operated a South L.A. clinic was sentenced to two years in prison for more than $1.7 million in fraudulent Medicare billings. (Law Fuel)

Transgender woman shot, killed: A transgender woman was shot and killed outside a South L.A. home where she was pounding on the door searching for help. (KTLA)