Recent reports of 11 gang-related shootings over this past weekend struck a chord with many South Los Angeles residents who have become figuratively “paralyzed.”
Family members are afraid to do everyday things like go grocery shopping, take their children to karate class or even enjoy the day at the park - a fear augmented by social media posts with the hashtag #100days100nights, alleging a rash of more gang violence to come.
These are threats that law enforcement has not confirmed, and which could be classified as hearsay.
Residents unable to tell fact from fiction instead decide to become prisoners in their own homes. If you are among those concerned for the safety of your loved ones, I would like to take this opportunity to say:
1. Don’t believe everything you read on social media.
2. Law enforcement are taking the necessary steps to quell the string of violence.
That means deploying more officers in the area, monitoring online chatter, and collaborating with local clergy and gang intervention specialists to adequately address the issue. Collectively, we stand with you; you are not alone.
Police have said the shootings to date have been gang-related and they do not believe they are random. Much of the focus though has been on the past weekend and the 11 shootings, partly due to all the media buzz. By contrast, there were 13 shootings in South Los Angeles during the weekend of the South Carolina tragedy—yet little to no local media was generated.
True, there are unanswered questions in regards to the most recent shootings.
Is there validity to the warnings of increased gang violence being broadcast across social media channels?
If it’s valid, who are the main players involved?
How do we restore peace in an already ailing community?
These are all complex questions. However, I strongly believe every challenge provides an opportunity. But we can’t do it alone.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to meet with community leaders and stakeholders to explore viable solutions. I will work with my colleagues to secure more funding for gang intervention and prevention, and will do everything possible to restore peace of mind in South Los Angeles.
My office also wants to hear from you. How can we work together to take back our neighborhoods? I welcome your insights, feedback, and ideas. Let’s take this negative situation to move us forward in the right direction, as a stronger and more united community. Find your voice. I’m here to listen.