Members of Latino Gang Charged with Race-Motivated Crimes

Ari B. Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2007

Federal prosecutors today charged members of the Latino Florencia 13 street gang with racially motivated crimes against African Americans, including several attempted homicides.

Authorities said the gang specifically tried to eliminate rival African American gangs in South L.A. and the Florence-Firestone area in an effort to “cleanse” the neighborhood. In doing so, they mistakenly harassed and attacked innocent African American residents, according to the indictment.

More than 60 members and associates of the Florencia 13 street gang were charged with federal racketeering and drug charges.

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Gang crime has been dropping across Los Angeles over the last few years, but Police Chief William J. Bratton and other authorities have expressed concern about isolated instances of racially charged gang violence both on the streets and in L.A. County jails.

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