Monday, January 22, 2007

Baghdad in California

CNN: Deaths of innocents lead to L.A. gang crackdown
Residents are demanding renewed action while trying to stay out of the line of fire.

Esteban Martinez, 41, hears gunshots at night in the San Fernando Valley, where he lives with his wife and four small children.

"Everybody is afraid, but they don't speak (to police) because they are afraid to get into trouble with the gang members," Martinez said. "I'm worried about my family."

Two weeks ago, an officer searching a house in the area for wanted gang members was wounded in the leg when a gang-banger fired through a closed bedroom door.

Nothing has outraged the city more than the gang slayings of children. Last month, 9-year-old Charupha Wongwisetsiri was standing in her family's kitchen when she was struck by a stray round from gang crossfire in Angelino Heights near downtown.

That came just five days after the shooting death of Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old black girl, who was talking to friends in the Harbor Gateway area. Two Hispanic gang members, who police said were intent on killing blacks, were arrested.

Seems like another place we could use 50,000 armed guys to occupy and clear.

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