City Hopes Cameras Will Deter Gang Activity in South L.A. Park

Angel Jennings, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2012

In the world of gangsta rap music videos, the one released by local rapper Gee Slick could be considered tame.

Except for a simulated sex scene, some gun violence and the song’s descriptive lyrics—which offer a step-by-step guide to making crack cocaine—it’s a typical video featuring a rapper flanked by a few of his homies.

But the video’s backdrop isn’t a studio or movie set, it’s a city-owned park.

The video was enough to alarm officials, who knew that a Bloods street gang had claimed Jackie Tatum Harvard Park in South Los Angeles. Nobody realized they were filming such graphic material inside the public space. {snip}

{snip}

The video pushed the city to fund cameras at the park, a $200,000 project that had stalled in City Hall for almost three years due to budget constraints. Now, the first camera is slated to go up later this month.

For years, police and city officials have battled gang members at the park.

Reputed gang members would often guard the entrance, denying access to neighbors and construction crews. The situation became so dangerous that Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks advised his staff not to enter the park alone.

Police found it difficult to patrol the sprawling facility, which includes a pool, skate ramps and a gymnasium.

“We’ve spent $3 million on the swimming pool and found that less and less people were coming to the park because of gang intimidation,” said Parks, whose district encompasses Harvard Park.

Until recently, the community had very little reason to visit the park, with its brown, brittle grass and worn basketball and tennis courts.

But in 2009, the park got a facelift.

Officials opened a water park with swimming pools and a slide. The courts were resurfaced. The park’s name was changed to usher in a new beginning.

For a while, things were looking up, until gang members refused to allow construction workers inside the park unless their members were hired to help build the skate ramps.

“It was a very strange situation where [gang reduction] people did not think it was unusual that we pay a bounty to allow construction,” Parks said. “We didn’t think our role is to participate in extortion.”

{snip}

Then, last summer, the music video by Gee Slick surfaced online. The video showed him standing on the gymnasium’s roof rapping about “washing dishes,” slang for cooking crack cocaine.

Two other videos also popped up online. One, a documentary that walks viewers through the intricate process of turning powder cocaine into crack rock, was shot inside the park’s pantry. The other shows footage from behind the scenes of the music video.

{snip}

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  • MekongDelta69

    The video was enough to alarm officials, who knew that a Bloods street gang had claimed Jackie Tatum Harvard Park in South Los Angeles.

    I love this sentence. The ‘mere’ fact that the Bloods “claimed” this park didn’t “alarm officials.”

    But, horror of horrors – when the Gee I’m So Slick rap video popped up on the scene – THEN the “officials” got “alarmed.”

    “OMG – lyke, lyke, we totally thought they were gunna make Girl Scout cookies ‘n’ stuff. Yanno?!”

    [No my man – they were ‘gunna’ make Girl Scouts cookies alright – but not the ‘cookies’ you were thinking of.]

    • I W

      Yup.
      “Nothing to see here, move along…”

  • IstvanIN

    You can have blacks or you can have public spaces, you can not have both.

    • Anan7

      We need to bring back segregation.  This is all just part of an ethnic misunderstanding.

      To blacks and Hispanics, this behavior is engrained in their genes.  It is offensive to Whites, because of our racism. Whites wrote the laws against rape, murder, theft, etc., but blacks are tens of thousands of years behind us on this.  They can’t see beyond their own self-interests and why such behavior is wrong.  Why else are they such ardent supporters of welfare and affirmative action?  They don’t see how welfare/affirmative action harm society as a whole while helping them and the members of their race.

      I would love to see the likes of Tim Wise live in these hellholes and see how long he survives in these diversity paradises he’s so fond of.

      Galatians: 6:7 “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a
      person will reap only what he sows”.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    They should build a $50 million dollar swimming pool complex in the park.

    Worked wonders back east.

    • It would need a large flush lever to be effective.

  • WmarkW

    Ubiquitous security cameras are probably the best crime-fighting tool ever. 
    You can’t just commit a murder and disappear; you’re on tape.

    It will also eventually solve political correctness, once enough flash mobs and happy slaps reach public consciousness.

    We already see that about the Zimmerman case; if YouTube had existed in 1991, the networks couldn’t have kept playing just the one-second snippet of the Rodney King arrest.

    Pictures — worth a least 1,000 words, and can’t be dismissed as racist.

    • Djinn42

       But you can almost guarantee that in the interest of political correctness probably 99% of what gets recorded will never be seen outside of the park.

    • At least until the cameras get stolen and sold for scrap.

    • Anan7

      “Ubiquitous security cameras are probably the best crime-fighting tool ever. ”

      Whatever happened to the 4th amendment?

      • Eagle_Eyed

         Security cameras on land that is not your own are okay.  You have no right to go to a park and do whatever you want in privacy.

  • Church_of_Jed

    The WNs should start a campaign deeming any attempt to curtail vibrant and authentic community expression in the park as “a racist construct that only goes to perpetuate White privilege, systemic bias, and institutional racism”.

    Once the gangs have permanent control, then turn attention on the failures of the NAACP to “do more to undo” Diveristy violence.

    Always attach the venerable and esteemed Civil Rights organization to afrovoodooism all up en heeah, aka feral Diversity, aka the blacks acting black, etc.

  • I W

    “It was a very strange situation where [gang reduction] people did not think it was unusual that we pay a bounty to allow construction,” Parks said.

    Is it the Vatican? Monaco? Some Indian Nation or Mexican colonia squatting on our soil?
    We have sunk so low that criminals can now set up territories within our own nation and extort, blackmail and intimidate public officials into paying them protection money and it is not ‘unusual’? Then the lickspittle goes on to admit that the parks department is in the business of building and funding drug-labs within our own parks?
    Seriously?
    How many of you out there have ever even seen a park with an actual kitchen? A kitchen?? I haven’t. Ever.
    Most of the parks I have seen, you were lucky to find a mini barbeque grill -sadly decomposing into a rusty lump atop a metal pole canted about 10 degrees off plumb- but these ‘poor disenfranchised urban communities’ have parks with full scale kitchens available to the first crack cook with enough muscle to take and hold them? Worse; the police departments only manage to glean a clue that they have a problem because these mental midgets posted incriminating videos online?
    In that case, it is time to defund both the parks and police departments and use the money saved to arm, equip and train every law abiding citizen in his or her own self defense and in the defense of their neighbors.

  • ncpride

    These ‘city officials’ seem competely intimidated and terrified of these gangs. Cameras are their answer? SERIOUSLY?! They will have to send in combat troops with orders to shoot to kill before they take back control of their cities and parks. They are not ready to take such bold and harsh steps no matter how much they are pushed around, so stop your complaining and admit they OWN you, and you answer to them. That’s what happens when PC takes over your every waking thought.

    • We should place bets to see how long it takes the gangbangers to shoot out the cameras.

  • I W

    “Ubiquitous security cameras are probably the best crime-fighting tool ever.”

    No they are not.
    First; I will bet any number of federal reserve notes that not one camera remains functioning for a single fiscal quarter without being vandalized or made inoperable for at least a continuous 24 hours. Especially as these cameras will be big fat targets for every bored thug and gang banger? At how much cost in installation, repair, infrastructure, and monitoring?
    Second; we have all seen CCTV footage on the evening news -have you EVER seen one perp identifiable from that- if not for something really unusually distinctive about them? “They all look alike.”
    Third; somewhat like gun laws, this will only affect the -nominally- law abiding. Outright thugs simply wear masks anyway, be it Guy Faulks, a pair of pantyhose, or the ubiquitous bandannas of gang affiliation. Since obviously the cameras will be mounted high off the ground for visibility, simple hats with a brim or bill will suffice to make identification nearly impossible.

    I agree with your second two points though, the more mahogany mob violence the public gets to see -the better. But would they actually get to see any more -or would footage go ‘missing’ or get ‘edited’ or simply be ignored? 

    • Kurt Plummer

      What a lot of people don’t know is that even the simplest of CCD cameras have much greater spectrum sensitivity than the human eye which views them as B&W imagery (why they work,, reasonably well, at night) and the more modern digital focal plane array video systems, like those is multi gigapixel digital still cameras but with anti-bleed modifications to account for motion.  I’m sure you’ve all heard about the ‘see through’ effect of pervs looking for X-ray upskirt moments and it’s all true.

      More importantly, the multi-element FPAs can provide moderate electronic as well as physical zoom level identification of faces, simply by using knowns of detector element processing intermix as D/A conversion (the detector pixels see more than they report but create mosaics based on highest gain constrasts to save processing time and latency) to contrast 1-2 different spectral color bands which help ‘pull’ the resident peak/valley/ridge detail as ‘nodal points’ from facial images as biometrics signature data.

      When they take your photo as part of the suspect arrest intake process, that image can then also be ‘modeled’ through the equivalent of a digital imager simulator and create high surety correlative matches.  Computers only need about 15-20 nodals to be sure and there are some 80 on your face so the more  resolution you give the front end, the more valid data points they can compare.  It’s also very hard to fake.

      Digital frontends with high pixel counts are really expensive all the way up the line (high gain coax and digital recording equipment with very expensive tapes) however; the array itself doesn’t have to be exposed at the lens to deliberate vandalism and where the operation is intended to be hardened or secure, usually the entire camera is mounted within an armored shell fairing with a -second- (plexi, usually forced air or washer equipped) lens in front of that.

      Use rocks or eggs or other objects to mask the imager or knock the thing askew and you usually only damage the gimbal mount or drive but not the camera. 

      Gunfire is obviously a different matter.

      • dukem1

         Took the words right out of my mouth.

  • APaige

    Not only have I become racially aware (do not use any public space where you might encounter blacks)by reading these stories, but I am learning that the police will/can not help:”Police found it difficult to patrol the sprawling facility, which includes a pool, skate ramps and a gymnasium.” How big is the park? The size of Iowa? There was a story recently about a large black crowd ruining a ‘social gathering’ ( I know not too narrow) but a witness/victim told a police officer and the only thing he/she said was that there was not enough police to do anything. Do the police drive cars anymore? Carry guns?

    • The illegal aliens, gang bangers and their cohorts have essentially neutered the Los Angeles Police Department. Every time there is mayhem caused by these criminals, they end up suing the police department for violating their “civil rights.” Of course being the cowards they are, they never fight these lawsuits, but instead, grovel at the boots of these groups, which always includes getting out the checkbook to make amends.
      The cops’ do nothing because they no longer can do anything. Los Angles has been declared a sanctuary city, in which the illegals and their raza are in charge. They have been paralyzed by political correctness and are useless, unless it is making DUI arrests and issuing tickets to Wasp’s on the Westside.

      • Things were so much better when they used police brutality. Unfortunately, that is the only thing blacks understand.

  • Given the tone of the article, it is easy to tell that the city is not running things in South Los Africanos. They have clearly taken over this piece of America. The problem is getting so out of hand that anarchy is already in place.

  • Here in this hopeless ******* hole we call LA

    The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.

    Any ******* time. Any ******* day.

    Learn to swim, I’ll see you down in Arizona bay.

    Learn to swim.

    • F*ck all these gun-toting,
      Hip gangster wannabes…

  • The universality of such behavior should clue someone that there is a genetic connection.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    The inmates truly ARE running the asylum. Just damn.

  • For a while, things were looking up, until gang members refused to allow construction workers inside the park unless their members were hired to help build the skate ramps.
    “It was a very strange situation where [gang reduction] people did not think it was unusual that we pay a bounty to allow construction,” Parks said. “We didn’t think our role is to participate in extortion.”

    Congratulations Bernard Parks…Los Angeles is now officially a third-world cesspool, run by drug lords and gang-bangers.

  • Does this mean we are officially “North Africa”?

  • “We’ve spent $3 million on the swimming pool and found that less and
    less people were coming to the park because of gang intimidation,” said
    Parks, whose district encompasses Harvard Park.

    That $3 million was tax-payer money. Until tax-payers can safely use the facilities, they should cease paying taxes. That’s how things would work in a civilized society. If you don’t get a service, you don’t pay for it. Cameras will not deter gang members. Shooting them on sight would work much better. Install snipers, not cameras.

    http://www.jewamongyou.wordpress.com 

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      There are no taxpayers where this luxury pool, skateboard park and new gym were built.

      Bon

  • bluffcreek1967

    The old LAPD under the leadership of Chief Parker and Chief Gates would not have allowed the gang to take over the park. LAPD officers were very much encouraged to go “hands on” during those eras. In effect, they were known to ‘kick ass and take names later.’ However, under the new LAPD leadership of Black Chiefs such as Willie Williams and Bernard Parks (now a city councilman), this once great police department has sunk to new lows. Even their current Chief has mandated his officers to not impound for 30 days the cars driven by Mexican illegal aliens.

    The City of Los Angeles is no longer a city for Whites. Mexicans (legal and illegal) and Blacks have completely taken it over and turned it into one massive toilet bowel. I got out of there 12 years ago, and I have never looked back.

  • Forget about deterring crime, I smell a great reality show in the works!!! 

  • sarah stein

    Save the money and get the video off World Star Hip Hop.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, because most criminals are really scared of laws.  (sarcasm)

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      Criminals are not afraid of the LA City Council, especially Bernard Parks — even when he was Chief of Police.

      Bon

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The situation became so dangerous that Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks advised his staff not to enter the park alone.

    Parks was a failed Affirmative Action LAPD Police Chief from 1987-2002.  

    Instead of announcing that gangs would be targeted for removal from that park so the public could use the new gymnasium, pool and skate ramp, he wonders why “less and less” (sic) people are coming, construction workers are intimidated and tells his staff “not to enter the park alone.”

    Is it any wonder the police protective league had this to say about him when he was chief of police?:

    Chief Parks has failed our City and he has failed his own police officers…He has failed in virtually every area critical to the success of the LAPD, from recruitment to achieving disciplinary reform. 

    Parks is a chief who offers no ideas, no innovations and no leadership in the face of increasing crime and decreasing felony arrests in the city.  Parks continually denies there is a problem with police morale and cannot admit when he is wrong, the letter states. Officers are unwilling to follow this chief of police. 

    The Police Commission, under Commission President Rick Caruso did not recommend Parks for reappointment as police chief.
    He’s just as effective on the LA City Council.
    Bon

  • FedUp

    Simply put, bringing blacks here from their natural habitat for whatever reason was a huge mistake.
    The greatest mistake, though, was once a tyrannical federal government had ended their useful purpose and freed them, we allowed them to remain here rather than deporting them all when their numbers were manageable.  What we have today is a direct result of those two monumental mistakes.  And now we compound those mistakes by bringing MORE of them to our country from the absolutely WORST parts of the world.  

  • hugo

    It is only a matter time before cameras will be called racist.  After all, they never show white criminals, only black ones. 

  • AA

    Black gangs in South LA? I thought the Mexicans and other Hispanics kicked all of them out. I guess they still missed some. The Hispanics need to step up their game….