Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Street Gangs in LA

"Gangs are blamed for 56 percent of the 478 murders in Los Angeles last year. Many of the dead were victims of inter-gang warfare or drive-by shootings so commonplace and so far away from affluent Beverly Hills that they barely make the local news.

"Most gang killings involve minorities, black or brown. It is only when something special happens, or a white person is involved, that it becomes newsworthy," said Malcolm Klein, professor of sociology and a gang expert at the University of Southern California.

Klein said most kids join gangs for identity, status, reputation and a sense of excitement. Baca said 95 percent of gang members in Los Angeles were high school dropouts "who have basically given up on themselves. Some of them say they do not expect to live beyond age 20."

Public apathy is part of the problem.

"Even in Los Angeles there is a lot of denial. If you live in Beverly Hills, do you really care what goes on in Compton?" said Wes McBride, director of the California Gang Investigators Association."

Read the entire article here.

Time to pray for Rudy and all our partners in Los Angeles. From my experience with the gang culture, whatever is going on in LA ends up affecting up in Nor Cal. There seems to be a growing culture of violence in our cites. We're certainly feeling it in EPA and other local cities like Oakland and Richmond.

Also check out this website: streetgangs.com it's an interesting resource for gang information, but seems to glorify the life a little.


  1. Great blog John. Great thoughts. I kinda miss ya!!!

  2. Anonymous3:11 PM

    I live in Los Angeles and honeslty i am tired of hearing how tough these kids are, honestly they are retarded people with no brains. I saw my friend shot 4 times by a gang member and when you go to court and see the family and background of a drug dealer closely tied to a gang and a gang member who are nothing but little rich kids trying to be tough in a supposed hard street gang it makes you think. I grew up in Sacramento, CA with poor kids on welfare and food stamps, those kinds of kids are the ones who might have a reason to be in a gang but alot of our youth only do it cause its the cool thing to do and its really sad.