AP, Jan. 8, 2007
Arraignment has been postponed for two suspected Latino gang members suspected in the shooting death of a 14-year-old black girl in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles.
Ernesto Alcarez, 20, and Jonathan Fajardo, 18, are each charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder for the Dec. 15 slaying of Cheryl Green.
Green was standing with a group of friends on Harvard Boulevard near 206th Street when she was shot. Three of her friends — two girls and a boy — were wounded.
The charges allege Green’s death was a hate crime and that the shooting was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Fajardo, the alleged triggerman, was arrested Thursday at his home in Carson, where police also found a gun that will be tested to determine if it was the murder weapon, said LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.
The suspects could face the death penalty if convicted.
[Beck] said the gang the two suspects belong to is “notorious for their strong stance in support of racism, and there were numerous instances of graffiti and statements that make us believe that this is racially motivated.”
Latino gang members have warned blacks not to cross south of 206th Street, the so-called “forbidden line,” under threat of violence, they said.
Villaraigosa and police Chief William Bratton have vowed that gang enforcement will be a high priority in 2007. Gang homicides accounted for 56 percent of all murders in the city last year.
“It should be no surprise to anyone that gang members have racist tendencies,” Bratton said.