JM, We Are Hip Hop, 4.30.08
FoxNews is attempting to throw shade on Councilwoman Janice Hahn, detailing the story of former gang members employed by organizations who do gang work in the City of Los Angeles. Under special scrutiny are relationships involving South LA gangs that faced a horrendous episode in 2005 and 2006.
An especially high level of violence erupted in the Watts projects between the PJ Crips and their sometime rivals the Grape Street Crips in 2005. Hahn worked hard and sometimes fearlessly to help broker a ceasefire between the two gangs and a third gang, the Bounty Hunters, in early 2006, just before an injunction was issued against Grape Street Crips. Two cops who have been reassigned from the gang unit in South LA alleged that Hahn has been used by the gangs.
More recently, a gang member went on to work for a not-for-profit gang interventionist program tangentially supported by Hahn but was charged with rape on a seven-year-old cold case after police collected his DNA during a housing protest.
Michael Krikorian detailed the sorrowful proceedings between the gangs in question two years ago in a fine series of articles, including War and Peace in Watts (July 14, 2005), Unlivable Terms (February 8, 2006), and Death of a Peace Loving Playboy (September 13, 2006).
Those stories seem untouchable now, a scant two years later. To really explore how far local journalism on gangs has deteriorated in the last two years, compare any one of those Krikorian stories to the top story at the former fishwrap of record tonight on the LAPD and gangs. It reads like a brochure for the Mayor and the LAPD. Soon the former fishwrap of record will come with yellow happy faces at the end of each sentence.