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Gang Life

September 16, 2005 | Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
Once upon a time, had they met on a prison yard, inmates Emilio Soto and Gerardo Fuentes might have sliced each other to pieces. Soto was a gang member from Stockton, Fuentes one from Los Angeles. "Any little look that I thought was disrespectful or he thought was disrespectful," Fuentes said, "and it would have been on." For almost 40 years, Latino gangs from Northern and Southern California have been at war.
August 28, 2005 | Celeste Fremon, Celeste Fremon is the author of "G-Dog and the Homeboys" and a criminal justice fellow at USC Annenberg's Institute for Justice and Journalism.
THE crime rate in Los Angeles and the nation as a whole continues to creep downward, but alarm about gang-related crime is on the rise again: During L.A.'s spring mayoral campaign, accusations flew about which candidate would be "soft" on gangs. In recent months, publications such as Newsweek magazine and the Washington Post have run articles warning of "blood-spattered urban streets" and a "new wave of gang brutality."
April 8, 2005 | Daryl H. Miller, Times Staff Writer
The neighborhood women chatter as they sweep their sidewalks. There has been a disturbance in their part of East Los Angeles. The king of the area gang has been killed, and various forces are coalescing to fill the vacuum. So the neighbor ladies' topic is power. "Whose barrio is this?" one asks. Does it belong to the families who live there? To the gangs? To the police whose helicopters pass overhead? The women contemplate the gleaming downtown skyline in the distance. And scoff.
August 5, 2004 | Jill Leovy, Times Staff Writer
At 16, he was a top student, star athlete and police Explorer. At 21, he was a Crip bent on avenging a murder. How one black teenager, nicknamed Gizmo, went from promise to catastrophe in a few years reveals the complicated relationship between African Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department in the city's most violent neighborhoods. Police in South Los Angeles mix it up with the same people all the time, mostly young black men.
April 10, 2004 | Maria Elena Fernandez, Times Staff Writer
In the heart of South Los Angeles still known as South-Central, former gang members, loved ones of young men killed by gang violence, community activists and vulnerable teens gathered Thursday afternoon to watch "Redemption," a provocative TV movie about Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Co-founder of the Crips, Williams is on San Quentin prison's death row for his role in four murders. Yet Williams was also nominated in 2000 for a Nobel Peace Prize for his behind-bars advocacy for street peace.
January 18, 2004
Can Joe Jones be saved ("A Life in the Balance," by Michael Krikorian, Jan. 4)? He has learned to tell everyone what they want to hear to get his way. It's a survival mode, given the sewer he lives in. If he stays, he dies both physically and mentally. He should have been put in a disciplined environment after his first brush with the law. They did him no favor by returning him to his mother, who can't seem to help or influence him. Bloods and Crips seem to be a condition, not a way of life.
January 15, 2004 | Michelle Gubbay
I live at the top of a hill, on the cusp of two Eastside neighborhoods -- Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights. It is an area rich with immigrant history, where the streets hold memories of Italian winemakers and Yiddish-speaking radicals and Japanese Americans wrenched from their homes after Pearl Harbor.
January 4, 2004 | Michael Krikorian, Times staff writer.
On a winter night almost three years ago, joe jones dialed a popular party line where young thugs trade insults and try to pick up girls. The 13-year-old gangbanger seemed to have struck gold. A sweet-sounding teenager was coming on to him. She wanted to hook up. Tonight. So Joe did something the party line managers adamantly warn against--he gave her his address. Jones, a Blood from the Fruit Town Brims, didn't know the girl was undercover.
November 23, 2003 | Frank del Olmo
It is not surprising to see Father Gregory Boyle widely celebrated these days. He may be, after all, the closest thing to a living saint that anyone in modern Los Angeles will ever know. And now that doctors have found that Boyle has leukemia, the sad reality that a saint in our midst may soon be gone has added a touch of anxiety to the admiration Boyle has justly earned since 1986.
September 13, 2002
The late Death Row Records rapper Tupac Shakur and death row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams each made the news in the last week. The parallel stories offer a glimpse into the brutality of gang life. They also hold a mirror to those taking the peek. No one has ever been charged for Shakur's 1996 slaying on the streets of Las Vegas. Times reporter Chuck Phillips spent a year reviewing court documents and interviewing investigators and gang members. His findings, reported in The Times Sept.
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