KCBS-TV (San Francisco), April 14, 2011
Police have stepped up patrols at Hayward High School following a string of brawls that may be tied to local gangs, some of the fights were recently caught on cell phone video.
Massive fights broke out last Thursday, and were followed up the next day after class. Video, which was posted on YouTube, suggests tensions between African-American and Latino students, with the possibility of a gang influence involved.
The school has a dress code, and claims to prohibit the wearing of red or blue. While some schools in the district have a zero-tolerance policy on gang colors, our reporters found students openly wearing prohibited clothing Thursday.
Superintendent Janis Duran said, despite the fight videos, Hayward High is a safe place for students.
Marquis Le Blanc was 18 when he went to a party in on Virginia Avenue that drew about 200 people, most of them Latino.
Some time after arriving at the party Le Blanc was attacked by a group of teens and young men. They beat him, stabbed him and shot him.
Pomona police made several arrests. Eight people have been charged with murder in the killing of Le Blanc.
The last two years of [Jessica] Corde’s life have been filled with pain, anger and grief resulting from her son’s death.
Corde believes that based on information presented during in preliminary court proceedings held last year that those who attacked her son were acting out of racial hatred.
Le Blanc arrived at the party with friends. Some time later, a dispute broke out between another man and Le Blanc, who was the only African American in attendance.
The situation escalated and Le Blanc took out a gun, that his mother said did not function, and waved it around trying to clear the way so he could escape.
Le Blanc was able to leave the party but he was followed and attacked in the street.
Corde is still mourning her son’s death but she is also troubled by racial tension that exists among some African Americans and Latinos which is resulting in violence and the deaths of young people.
“We’re burying our kids at an enormous rate,” she said.
Corde’s journey has put her in contact with Latina mothers who have lost children to African American assailants.
“We hurt the same way regardless of our color,” she said.
Le Blanc’s death was among several incidents that prompted several people in Pomona to address racial tensions.
Since Le Blanc’s death people have acknowledged a problem exists and are now working with young people to address racial tensions, he said.