Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Athletes and Violence Collide Again in South LA

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

Having spent a significant amount of time in south Los Angeles over the past year, I had to post this story, because something has to be done about gang violence.

Last weekend a star running back at Lakewood High School was arrested and charged in connection with a drive-by shooting in Compton. The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that Jerry Stone faces multiple criminal counts from an incident that occured Friday night.

It's a shame that most of these stories just result in headlines; followed by coverage of the vigils that are held in the local communities where these acts of violence occured. However, that's usually where the story ends. The good news in the Stone story is, evidently no one was killed.

My question is...where is the community outrage over Los Angeles gang violence? And why doesn't someone step-up for our children, who are being murdered before they have a chance to get out of the dangerous inner city?

I'm not saying that no one cares...I'm just saying we all need to come together to figure-out what can be done. USC head coach Pete Carroll is trying to make a difference with his foundation called A Better LA, but there needs to be more focus put on prevention.

You can check-out a great 60 Minutes story on Carroll and what he's doing under the cover of darkness away from the X's and O's.

I applaud Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who along with Police Chief William Bratton, announced on Tuesday that the city's gang-intervention program and other agencies would come together to focus on the southeast and southwest sides of the city, where a reported 30-killings occured in July and August.

However, this isn't just the city's's everyone's. Everyone that lives and works in south LA needs to take responsibility and let gangs know that they are no longer welcome in the communities.

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