WE GOT OUR ANSWER.
As if making a direct response to our question in the previous post on how "targeted" versus "blanket" suppression would work, yesterday Chief Bratton and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo unveiled a new strategy for addressing gang violence. The plan is to create a matrix using weighted factors to identify the "worst" gangs in the city and then hit them with a brick.
At first glance, it seems like an interesting idea and something that veteran law enforcement and even activist types have suggested in the past. We'll hold off on commenting about this particular approach until we can get more information on the stuff that can make or break any concept -- the details.
The LA TIMES article on this initiative mentions that one of the neighborhoods under consideration for special attention is CPA, "a relatively small gang that police say is responsible for a disproportionate amount of violence in the Valley." For decades, CPA had a reputation more as a party neighborhood than hard core shooters and looters. Obviously that's changing. The question is why? We a have a few theories but let's let the initiative take its course and see what develops officially. When it's over, we'll compare notes.
The takaway from the LA TIMES piece seems to be that the killing of Cheryl Green finally got somebody's attention and it created the motivation for this new strategy. This phenomenon clearly underscores the fact that it's not a story (in this case, ethnic cleansing) until the big media says it is. The Green case generated lots of ink, unlike almost all the previous cases.
Let's recap some of the racially motivated homicides and assaults and the level of press attention, shall we?
Kenny Wilson, Anthony Prudhomme, Christopher Bowser: Nearly six years after the fact.
Hightower: No press.
Haggins: No press.
Boikins: No press.
Winston: No press.
Mellancon: No press.
The Williams family: No press.
Green: No press.
We got a bunch more. The point is the gatekeepers of what qualifies as news literally have to be overwhelmed by reality before they take official notice of "racially sensitive" issues. In this particular instance, the reality that overwhelmed them was the Avenues trial last September. Once the ice was broken with that case, well, all of a sudden, it's NEWS!
I clearly remember numerous fruitless pitches and serious conversations with the gatekeepers about this phenomenon years ago. They didn't want to know it. They never heard of it. And will someone escort this man out of here?
In the immortal words of one brave editor, "We don't want to start a race war." Using that line of reasoning, no one should have reported the Rodney King beating or Pearl Harbor for that matter because it could raise some eyebrows.