High homicide rates move LAPD to put more officers in South LA

Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck speak about crime statistics at a recent conference held at the 77th Division station in South L.A. | Daina Beth Solomon

Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck speak about crime statistics at a recent conference held at the 77th Division station in South L.A. | Daina Beth Solomon

The Los Angeles Police Department is responding to a hike in crime rates by adding more officers to South Los Angeles streets. So far this year, 43 people have been killed in the 77th Division, which covers most of South L.A.

In August, according to data from the LAPD, the number of people killed in Los Angeles rose 7 percent compared to this time last year. Almost half of last month’s killings took place in South L.A. The majority of violence, Police Chief Charlie Beck said, was gang crime.

Capt. Jeff Bert told the LA Times that additional police officers will allow the department to respond more quickly to crimes and also possibly help prevent them.

“We’re concerned because it’s a loss of life,” Bert told the LA Times. “That’s why we’re doing this big shift and we’re pointing the nose of it south, because that’s where most people are losing their lives.”

Construction churns on with full street closures along Crenshaw/LAX line

Construction for the metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

Construction for the metro rail line on Crenshaw blvd.

Street closures, which include some that stretch into the night, are continuing along the route of the Crenshaw/LAX line as the city constructs multiple tunnels for the project. Construction on this area is beginning on Friday.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX rail line is one of 12 projects funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008 to pay for transportation projects and improvements.

The project is slated to be completed in 2019 and have eight stations.

Metro says road closures could branch into two weekends in October.

Here is the information about the street closures:

  • Crenshaw Boulevard between Coliseum Street and Exposition Boulevard will be completely closed. 
  • In addition,on the east side of Crenshaw Boulevard at the north side of Rodeo Road
  • All of Crenshaw Blvd. will be closed between 48th and 43rd streets. Vernon Avenue between Crenshaw Blvd. and Leimert Avenue will also be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. this weekend and next weekend.
  • A detour will redirect north and southbound traffic around the center of Crenshaw Blvd. between 59th and 67th streets. 
  • La Cienega Boulevard at Florence Avenue will be closed at night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Monday.
  • La Brea Ave. will close down on the weekdays from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Sunday, Oct. 6.


Photo Gallery: South LA students play with LA Dodgers, United Healthcare


LA Dodgers, United Healthcare volunteer with South LA schoolchildren

LA Dodgers, UnitedHealthcare volunteer at eight schools in Los Angeles, including those in South Los Angeles.

Two organizations teamed up for a good cause in South Los Angeles.

UnitedHealthcare employees joined Los Angeles Dodgers alumni and staff this month in volunteering at eight elementary schools in Los Angeles, including those in South LA. It was part of the Do Good, Live Well campaign.

Volunteer activities, which took place in early September, included recreational play and school beautification.

Take a look at the photo gallery above.


3 Worlds Cafe serves up food, social justice

Aqeela Sherills says his mission is “to provide a set of quality services, especially food.” The 3 Worlds Café, named for three of South Los Angeles’ historic ethnic groups, is a place for residents to gather, invest in and transform their neighborhood.

[Read more…]

Fifty years after Watts Rebellion, residents commemorate in vacant lots

Watts recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Rebellion.

During the commemoration, the Watts Reimagined team, which includes Grant Housing & Economic Development Corporation, the Natural Resources Defense Council Urban Solutions Program and Kounkuey Design Initiative, brought people together in an abandoned lot on 103rd Street and Central Avenue.

During the event Watts residents came together for entertainment and healthy living activities like Zumba and food cooking demonstration.

Though the 50th anniversary events are winding down, the Watts Reimagined team hopes to keep these community building activities alive and continue creating impactful changes throughout the area.

Learn more about the Watts Reimagined mission here.

Watts fresh food markets respond to community needs

Healthy food options are sprouting in Watts.

The riots that occurred in Watts in 1965 left the community without stable and reliable restaurants and other food establishments. As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Watt’s Riots, the community continues to rebuild and grow. One of those things growing is a farmer’s market, an exciting solution for healthy foods in the Watts community. Check out this video below to see how health educators bring a fresh new perspective to food options in Watts

Watts Village Theater Company founder dies

Lynn Manning 2

Lynn Manning, founder of Watts Village Theater Company, dies at 60. | Photo provided by Watts Village Theater Company

Lynn Manning, co-founder and artistic director of Watts Village Theater Company, died of liver cancer Monday at 60.

[Read more…]

South LA teacher earns national acclaim for ethnic studies advocacy

The push to make ethnic studies a staple within the California education system received nationwide attention when a South Los Angeles teacher was named the National Education Association’s Social Justice Activist of the Year.

[Read more…]

Teaching to avoid riots

This article was produced for Watts Revisited, a multimedia project launched by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that explores challenges facing South L.A. as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Watts Riots. Learn more at www.wattsrevisited.com.

Jay Davis stands in front of his class at Augustus Hawkins High School. | Photo by Anna-Cat Brigida

Jay Davis stands in front of his class at Augustus Hawkins High School. | Photo by Anna-Cat Brigida

When Jay Davis talks to his students about the 1965 riots, which broke out all around his South L.A. campus, he wants to make sure it is not just a history lesson. Instead, he pushes his students to use the images to talk about the history, understand the factors that provoked rioting and decide what role they would play in history. [Read more…]

LA Press Club recognizes Intersections for South LA reporting


Annenberg students, along with Journalism School Director Willow Bay and Annenberg Dean Ernie Wilson, crowd the Biltmore Hotel lobby on their way into the LA Press Club Awards ceremony.


Intersections was honored by the Los Angeles Press Club in nine award categories Sunday night for reporting on topics ranging from Zumba fitness to LAUSD mismanagement, sidewalk tacos to criminal justice. During 2014, the year recognized by the 57th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, Intersections expanded its ranks and moved into the Annenberg School’s new Media Center while continuing to explore untold stories of South L.A. and experiment with multimedia storytelling. We also became Press Club nominees for the first time — which now offers us the chance to highlight excellent reporting that illuminates many sides of South L.A. life.

Read on for links to some of the finest work from Intersections of 2014, with gratitude to our staff and advisors. The full list of winners is available on the L.A. Press Club website.

— Daina Beth Solomon
Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

[Read more…]