South Bureau Homicide (2016) Movie Script

- 77th is only 12 square miles.
It has over 400 churches,
but historically
it has the highest homicide
rate in the entire city.
You're either aligned
by circumstances
or aligned by choice,
but you are aligned
based on the neighborhood.
You have those friends
that you grew up with since
elementary school, those
four friends are gone.
Three of them are dead,
and one is in life without
possibility of parole
in the penitentiary.
We all have to be
educated regarding
this crime called murder.
We can't put it into
the gang banger,
we can't put it into drugs,
we can't say it
domestic violence,
no it needs to
stand on it's own.
You don't have to add
anything additional to it
like robbery, or
anything like that.
It should be murder, and
murder should be considered
the worst crime of all.
- Homicide requires character.
It's not just goin'
and arrestin' bad guys.
This job can be very tough,
and can be very painful.
The main thing I think
that makes us so effective
in this part of the
city is the bond between
the detectives
that work homicide,
specifically homicide,
and the community.
- Yes, this is Sal.
Where at?
Is the body still at the scene?
Okay, I'm just yeah, I'm in
bed, so just driving time.
Let me get ready.
All right, see you guys.
I've been touched by probably
at least 7,000 homicide
investigations, whether they
are cases I responded to,
cases I handled, cases where
I've answered a telephone,
cases that have been
discussed within my office.
So basically I look at it,
as a homicide detective,
the units I've been assigned to,
we've handled a little
over 7,000 homicides.
When that phone rings,
whether it be for myself, or
especially the
investigators that are
handling a particular case,
there is that
frustrating sense that
one murder is one too many.
One murder just effects
hundreds of lives,
whether it be the
victim's families,
the detective's families,
the neighborhood,
the community, the news
media, the churches,
the hospitals, there's
so many lives effected
with the loss of one person
through violent death.
So when that gun shot rings out,
when that two inches that
could have saved a life,
or taken a life, happens,
there's that frustrating part
of, "Wow, we've
done so much, and
"people still have
this violent streak,
"or this, why are these
two gangs goin' at it,
"why is this person goin' out
"committing a robbery,
and a shooting?"
I hate when people say,
"He was in the wrong place
"at the wrong time.
"She was in the wrong
place at the wrong time."
There's no wrong place,
and there's no wrong time.
Unless you're committing a
robbery, and you're in a bank,
and you get shot,
well guess what,
you were in the wrong
place, at the wrong time,
because you were
doin' somethin' bad.
You send your child off to
school, you don't expect
him or her to get caught
up in the cross-fire
of a shootout.
Your husband goes off to
work, and is driving home
at 1:00, 2:30 in the
morning, workin' three jobs,
and you don't expect
him to get caught up in
a robbery gone bad where
that person gets shot.
They're not in the wrong
place, at the wrong time,
that's where they're
suppose to be.
People often ask, myself
or other detectives are
always asked the question,
"What's your most memorable
"case, what's the most violent
case, what case stands out
"with you over the years?"
It's difficult, at least
for myself to answer,
and maybe it's because the many
years that I've spent here,
the many years that I've
seen so much violence in
such short periods of time.
I've seen everything,
decapitations, mutilations,
shootings, stabbings,
all kind a deaths,
all kind a manner a
deaths, and it's not really
the gruesome ones
particularly that stand out,
it may be the people
involved, maybe the victims,
maybe the day, location,
or the time of the year.
If you put the 80s and 90s
in context in Los Angeles,
we averaged 1,100 homicides
a year in the City of LA.
The large portion of
those were in south LA.
We had a police department
that was about 8,000 officers,
so we weren't staffed as
heavily as we are now.
And everything we did
was about suppression.
Years ago, there's no
way I ever would have
dealt with the
police department.
Back then, the police was
a little bit more aggressive.
Far as, they'll do anything
to you they want to.
Pull you over, talk shit
to you, cuss you out,
hit you upside the head,
whatever they wanted to do to you.
And this is a community
under siege with drugs and
gangs and murder, and we
have the worse police force
in our communities,
tryin' to kill it.
They weren't tryin' to fix it,
they weren't tryin'
to arrest it,
they were tryin' to suppress
it by any means necessary.
In the 80s we would do
what was referred to as
an Operation Hammer.
A Hammer Task Force.
And we were bringin' 2 to
300 extra police officers
on a Friday or Saturday
night in south LA,
tryin' to do somethin'
to stop the violence.
And they stereotype
you real quick.
All you gotta do is be
walkin' down the street,
one or two people, and
they gonna pull you over,
an run your name,
find out where you at
and what you're doin'.
And if you slip up
and say you in a gang,
they gonna mark you
down on that little card
and you'll be labeled a
gang member from then on in.
It was somewhat effective,
but what we didn't see
at the time, that
suppression model,
alienated the community.
As a citizen in
between the two,
there was no place for me.
They were gonna do what
they were gonna do,
whether I liked it or not.
And the street was gonna
fight back against them,
whether I liked it or not.
So they were butting
heads with each other.
We didn't see the
long-term impact of that,
so when Rodney King
happened, we had no support,
we had no relationships.
He wasn't a member
of this nightmare.
He wasn't a participant
in this nightmare.
But they beat him like he was.
They beat him like
he was a gang member
they were tryin' to suppress.
And so having lived
through all of the 80s
and into the 90s
and seeing that,
now everything I do, is
based on my partnership
with people in this community.
And with those partnerships,
we see a reduction in violence,
we see a tremendous
increase in trust
in the police department.
And with that increase in
trust, the relations get
stronger, and
stronger, and stronger.
It's like anywhere
else, it's like a family
or anything else, it works.
We went from a
nightmare, to newness,
to the possibility of greater.
So are we done, no, no.
Last week, pretty amazing
week, Glodster, Moore,
Butterworth, Cafgan and
Turvy arrested a guy
on 198 and Main for
the murder of a...
They coulda been
anything else,
you coulda been in robbery,
you coulda been somethin' else,
but to decide that you're
gonna be a homicide detective,
that takes a lot on.
As far as our numbers, our
three respective divisions,
is down about 19% in
murders, so that's real good.
Last year was a good year,
this year it looks like
they might even be better.
You don't even
have a clue who I am.
You don't know my child.
But you're willing
to take a chance
to find out who killed him.
Hey, I just want to think
about yesterday to meet with
that family in southwest,
that was really nice.
That lady drove all
the way down to Vegas,
that murder occurred
17 years ago,
and we met with her yesterday,
she just wanted to thank them,
even though the case
isn't even solved,
just for the diligence since
they've worked on the case.
That says a lot.
The attributes that are
best to have as a homicide
investigator is the
passion for the job,
and the passion for the people.
The knowledge will come
about crime scene management,
about crime scene investigation,
interrogation law,
writing search warrants,
all those things can be taught.
What can't be taught is
the passion for the job,
and the love of the people
and the love of the job
and why you're doing it.
How you doin'?
- What you doin' Bull?
Actually you said you
was on my son's case.
- How you all doin' today?
how you doin'?
- Come here.
- Hey sister, how are you?
He worked on, when my
son, my son was killed.
Murder, ya'll
helped me, 'member?
Yes, of course.
- Today his birthday.
Yeah, I saw that.
How ya doin'?
So when I look at selecting
people for homicide,
I'm looking at
what's at their core,
what's motivating them.
They're just passin' through
here tryin' to check a box,
say, "Hey I worked homicide for
a couple years" and move on,
although that may work,
that's not the ideal
homicide investigator.
The ideal homicide investigator
is someone who looks at it
and knows it's a calling.
It's something
that they wanna do,
they're not doing it for any
reason or short period of time.
This is what is in their DNA.
Ya'll work so hard,
people don't know,
ya'll go home and ya'll
take this with ya'll.
Ya'll make it personal.
And I love ya'll for that.
Well thank you.
Ya'll work so hard, people
never tell ya'll thank you.
Oh, thank you.
- The victims, we the victims.
You're right.
- You know, the family.
I love ya'll.
Thank you.
Ya'll keep up
the good work here.
Okay sister,
we'll talk to ya.
In some aspects, being
a homicide detective here
is the same as it is
anywhere else in the country.
They interview witnesses,
they process evidence,
and they chase leads.
the great success that
we've had in south LA,
in south bureau, has been
the fact that we're workin'
extraordinarily hard to
build relationships in this
community that are
influenced by gang violence.
All these gangs'll have a
hood day every once in awhile.
Which is like the day they,
lands on a certain day of
the month that coincides with
the number of the street
they're on, or whatever
the case may be.
And 40s had a hood day recently
and had a little party,
and drink and whatever.
And one guy ran through
a gun, they got that guy.
And then they had about
30 other guys jammed up
along this driveway over here,
this blue apartment,
blue home here.
Right down that driveway.
So everybody's compliant,
we had 'em lined up
all the way down the right
side of this driveway,
and they had three racks a ribs,
three or four big racks
a ribs on the grill.
So like I said, I
ain't sittin' around
their ribs are gonna burn,
so I ended up cookin',
I cooked their ribs for awhile.
Everybody running their
hands through warrants.
I took 'em off the grill.
They were bein' cooperative,
I couldn't see lettin'
their ribs burn for nothin'.
They offered me some.
I said, "Oh come on,
all you big guys,
"polish all these ribs
off in a half a second."
What's up guys, what're
you eatin' there?
Hot cheetos.
Where's the soda?
You don't need it, not
with those hot cheetos?
All right.
- All right man.
- All right, be good.
For awhile we were deployed
down here for quite a bit.
Then they moved us to 77th.
So usually we bounce between
southeast area and 77th.
Every once in awhile
they'll send us
to the harbor or southwest.
just occurred Broadway
and 112th Street, Broadway
and 112th Street,
Let's go to that.
Hey Mo, you
want her gone, is it okay?
By the time we as homicide
detectives are called out
to a homicide scene,
we're already chasing.
We're at least an hour
to two hours behind
whoever perpetrated this crime.
The horrific part I
think comes and goes.
As a homicide detective, that's
not what I'm focusing on.
I'm not focusing on how
bloody or how horrible
this person was murdered.
It's who murdered this person.
Who did it, and when and
what information do I have.
I wanna start that chase now.
The horrific part or the
emotional part has more
I think to do with
connections with people.
Usually it's somebody
in that victim's family,
or who's close to the victim,
where there's some, there's
that empathy connection
that's made between a
detective and the case.
And that empathy connection,
as I would describe it,
is what drives that
detective to try to solve it.
Do we solve 'em all, no.
But that's what pushes
us, and our goal is to
solve them all so we can
give some kind of answers
to that family of what
occurred to their loved one.
The family members of
our victim, rightfully so
are staying at their relatives,
so that way they
could feel safe.
The one particular person
who may be able to convince
the witnesses and other
people to come forward,
not that they weren't
telling us the truth,
but if they were holding
back certain information
because of, they were fearful
over retaliation.
I can provide the
protection, the safety,
all right, I could
provide the closure.
Myra and I could
provide all that stuff.
But I can't and Myra can't,
we cannot help your family
unless you guys are
willing to help yourself.
I agree, and that's what
I've been tryin' to
implement in their mom,
she said she'll
talk to you guys,
it's just, I just wanna...
Wait, once this case breaks
open, we have to protect you.
Yeah, I agree.
Right now, we can't do much
because there's really no,
imminent, they call
it imminent threat.
In other words, he doesn't
know that we're talking,
they're not gonna know
that we're talking
until we start solving the case.
And then, once we solve,
but that's when I have to.
we all know about Hoovers,
I lived with them all my life,
and I know they ain't no joke.
And that's one
gang I'm afraid of.
But at the same time, it's
like let's be realistic here,
are we doing this
for Oznay, or we not?
I will tell you right
now, I know the fear is
the retaliation of his friends.
What he did was, not for
the benefit of the gang...
No it wasn't.
- It was personal.
It was personal, so you think
the gang is gonna stick up
and do certain things
that will get themselves
into more trouble?
And no gang accepts a
guy killin' a girl over
somethin' stupid, you know,
it was an argument, it was...
- That was not business.
You know, gangs are
about business too.
I agree.
It's about money.
I agree.
Look, let's identify
who this person is,
and then Myra and I will
do our job to try to remove
the family members
as much as possible.
We have other techniques.
The longer we wait...
The longer, I know,
48 Hours taught me that.
- Thank you.
It will be a distant memory,
your cousin will be
a distant memory.
I know.
I don't want that,
that's not fair.
I agree.
This family hasn't
been back to the house
since the night of the incident.
Every time she went up
and down the stairs,
'cause that's where
she held her daughter.
I feel really bad.
Ah yeah, you know
it took everything for me
not to cry.
You and I are weak
like that, you know that?
- You feel horrible for 'em.
You know, 'cause it's reality,
it's not tv, it's not,
this is real, real
people's lives.
This takes a toll.
About midnight,
got called by the
southeast watch commander
that we had a homicide here
on 95th Street by 95th and Fig.
Female, black, was shot
and killed as she was
walking on the sidewalk.
Was probably a group of
other individuals out,
when a light-colored
sedan or SUV drove by,
depending on the
witness's statement,
shot multiple times, she
got struck by gunfire.
Latorria, L-A-T-O-R-R-I-A.
Patrol units respond,
paramedics respond,
they pronounced her
deceased here at the scene,
so by the time I get here,
the scene's already secured.
Had some idea where some
pieces of evidence were.
Had some fired casings,
had some cell phones
that probably belonged to our
victim, after she got shot.
Couple a ice tea cans, and
one was still half full.
That would indicate there
was more people out here.
So it's that type a stuff
that we're just kinda
processing the crime scene.
There was a van,
obviously, close by.
Did you find
somethin' else in it?
- Yeah, perfectly intact bullet.
Oh there it is, right
there in the window, yeah.
Very nice.
I have measurements,
if you wanna go off
the measurements I have.
Okay, and I'm gonna
get the light closed.
I have the light closed,
I have this light closed,
and that light closed.
Almost like you've
done this before.
Never done it before
in my life, really.
First time out
here, solid, shew.
Mel Hernandez and I will be
personally assigned to this case
until we leave.
I don't plan on leavin',
I plan on retiring
from this division.
In that case, it'd be
assigned to me until I retire.
We form a bond with that family,
and we know the
investigation best
because we were the
first homicide detectives
who got a look at
the crime scene,
who talked to the people who
were involved that night,
to the community members.
So as a result, you have
some personal attachment to
the homicides that
are assigned to you.
My only child was murdered,
Reginald Lakeith Reese,
December the sixth,
1995, in San Pedro.
To have your kid
leave before you,
at the hands of someone else,
that they have touched your kid.
It's like your brain's
suppose to be in a circle
but when that happens it leaves
a little dent in your brain
that will never, ever close.
You take this to your grave.
You will never,
ever get over it.
You will do anything,
move the world,
that havin' them, never bein'
able to smell 'em again,
never bein' able
to kiss, don't hug,
you don't get none
a that no more.
And everybody tell you
it's suppose to be okay,
that's bull, it don't
suppose to be okay.
Because a the way it
suppose to been okay
was you suppose to been left,
and they suppose to a been here.
This is not right.
All these kids bein' murdered,
and everybody's
tellin' us it's okay.
No, uh-uh, parents
never get over it.
They will take it
to their grave.
Never, ever.
Birthdays, worst.
Anniversary dates,
that's what we call,
when the day they were murdered,
it's like a knife in your heart,
you can't even pull
out if you wanted to.
And make it right.
It's like, I can't explain it.
But you don't want nobody
else to ever experience it.
Because you don't know if
they gonna get through it.
A lot a people don't.
They lose they mind behind this,
we've had parents kill
theyself behind it,
tryin' to get to they babies.
And it's just horrible,
it's nothing like this.
There's no medication
they can give you,
'cause they give you somethin',
they gonna put you to sleep.
And that ain't gonna solve it,
'cause when you wake up you
think, "Where's my child,
"where's my kid?"
And you look in the room,
you grabbin' the clothes,
you're asking everybody,
so it doesn't work that way.
Our spiritual leaders seem,
they don't understand it either,
'cause they ask us
strange questions,
like, "Did your
child, was he saved?"
Or somethin' like that, like
that makes a difference.
When it comes to this,
it is not about that.
This crosses every boundary.
It doesn't care what
religion, what race, what age,
if you were short,
you were tall,
if you had money, you didn't,
this crosses everything.
And they need to
understand this.
There's nothin' worse.
Anything else in this world
you get a second chance.
On this, we don't get nothin'.
We never get to see 'em again,
we never get to say nothin'.
Everybody else gets a second
chance, we didn't get it.
It's the worst thing,
it's so unfair.
And we demand it, that those
son of bitches that kill
our kids, they have to be arrested,
charged, and convicted,
'cause this is the
worst crime of all.
No, there's nothin' worse
than murder, there's nothing.
No, uh-uh.
Give me a minute, please.
Hello my name
could someone
please call be back,
I'm desperately in need of help.
My 16-month-old
child was murdered,
and I don't know what to do,
I'm not getting anywhere
with the police, or anything.
So someone please call me
back, thank you very much.
Paul, this is LaWanda with
Justice for Murdered Children,
I'm returning your call.
I am truly sorry to hear
about your 16-month-old
bein' murdered, my heart
and prayers go out to you
and your family.
We're a non-profit organization
that helps families
that have had a
loved one murdered.
Our mission is to assist them,
and to reduce the numbers
of unsolved homicides.
We felt we were left out
the criminal justice system.
Hi Janet, this is
LaWanda, how you doin'?
I'm doin' fine.
I was calling you because LAPD
is doing an unsolved homicide
website, so they need for you
to give them Tony's picture.
Yeah, yeah.
Hi LaChrisha, this is
LaWanda, how you doin'?
I'm doin' fine.
Hey William, this is
LaWanda, how you doin'?
Hey Rose, this is LaWanda,
with Justice for
Murdered Children.
Oh, okay, I'll get
the email to you.
People usually think
once we bury the kids,
it should be over.
We felt there has to
be other steps to this.
Especially when we found out
the people who killed our kids
had not been arrested.
That really blew our mind.
And so we got together and
created this organization
called Justice for
Murdered Children.
And we started meeting
other families that had
the same situation,
All three counts, how can you
get a hung jury on all three?
Two attempted murders,
you, your son,
and then the murder
of your grandson.
I don't see how they can do that
when you all were eyewitnesses.
Yeah, victims and
eyewitnesses to the crime.
And I'm telling you,
this man shot me,
and you sayin' no he didn't.
And he didn't shoot my son,
and I said he shot me,
my son, and my grandson,
that one right there.
See that says somethin'
about our judicial system,
I don't know.
Where do these juries come from?
Because see your grandson,
by him bein' a kid,
that was a whole
totally different thing.
There's no way jurors
could not feel that.
Unless the judge
gave an instruction
if you can't find him
guilty on this one,
then you can't find him
guilty on the other two.
No, that's why you break it up.
So it's no
instructions like that.
Because you can be
found guilty on one,
and not guilty on another.
We always believin' that
if we get the eyewitness
and everything, then we got you.
Now, they get the eyewitness,
five eyewitnesses and
they still didn't get him.
That's crazy.
We don't get grants,
the only funding we get
is through fundraisers
that we actually create.
If I had committed a murder,
and then I decided today
I'm not gonna commit
murder no more,
I'm gonna change my life,
and create a gang
intervention program,
I coulda got funded.
But because I'm a victim of
this crime called murder,
and my family decided
that hey, they want
those people who
committed that crime to be
arrested, charged,
and convicted,
we can't fund that.
This murder is a
murder from a year ago,
and basically what happened
was we had our victim,
Jeffrey Davis, he's
an older male, black,
and his associate, a girl by
the name of Andrea Fowler,
were filling prescriptions
of Oxycontin,
down in Saddleback
Pharmacy, in Mission Viejo,
and then they were selling
this to Eight Trey gangsters
who were subsequently
transporting it
up to Washington state, and
making a huge profit up there.
So, while they were there
counting the money they just got
from this large sale,
a male black came up,
stuck a gun in the window,
in Jeffrey's face, says,
"Give me the money,"
and Jeffrey said,
"You're gonna have to
kill me for my money,"
and he grabbed the gun and
they fought over the gun.
We were able to develop
information that
Andrea Fowler was a
co-conspirator in planning this
robbery to get money
back from Jeffrey because
he had been shorting
her on the money.
And so she subsequently
enlisted the aid of some
other individuals to help
her give this money back.
It was never suppose
to be a murder,
but when the victim fought
back that changed everything.
Here at criminal
gang homicide division,
we have a uniform
detail attached to us.
SEU, Special Enforcement Unit.
They assist us in the
enforcement and suppression
of gangs, and also to
arrest, gather intelligence
on certain gangs and violent
individuals in our community.
At that location we're
gonna be looking for
any association with
Bloodstone Villains.
We're lookin' for an
unknown caliber revolver,
and we're looking
for anything that,
just the general
lives that would show
who has ownership there,
and also cell phones.
Lot a times when we
put a case together,
we have targets of suspects,
and we then are gonna go back
and do search warrants
of those suspects.
We'll utilize those
teams to put together the
tactical operations, put
together the game plan
on how to get to a location,
make sure it's safe
before the homicide
detectives then so in there
and actually search
for physical evidence.
This is the
Los Angeles Police Department,
we have a search warrant
for your residence,
we need you to exit
the front door,
and be guided by the
direction of officers.
Do it now, please.
And we don't serve the warrant
until everybody is set up.
We try and call everybody out.
We want it to be as safe
as possible for everyone,
the police and even the
individuals that we're
serving the warrant with.
I said
you just wanna come out
with your hands up.
I did.
'bout opening the door.
The door's open.
Come out
with your hands up.
Okay, don't shoot.
What's goin' on, sir?
- Come out.
- Hands up,
get your hands up, on your head.
Turn around.
They will go into any
house that we go into,
and they will search it,
primarily for bodies first,
we're making sure that
anybody who is left inside
we will be able to locate.
We ask any individuals
that came out before them,
"Is there anybody else inside?"
Just me and my grandma,
and my wife, that's it.
I don't know what's goin' on.
- A lot of times they'll say,
"Nope, nobody, it's all clear,"
and then these officers will
go in and make sure that
nobody's hiding, or that
nobody was left in the back.
Get your
hands on your fuckin' head
and step out a the car.
Turn around.
We were able to locate
an individual that
we were indeed looking for,
and detectives did
want to interview him,
they do believe that
he had something to do
with a crime we're
Hey, get the
fuck out a the way.
You're here for
one of two reasons,
either to give information
or get information.
We will take the information
back to our communities
so when we're standin'
around 30, 50, 100 people,
we say wait, this is
how the process goes,
kick back, relax, and that
can ease the community
as it relates to
what's happening with
the loss of life
of their loved one.
Since we're talkin'
about homicides,
with respect to gang homicides,
I thought this would be a
good way to suque into our
conversation having, what I
consider to be the subject
matter of the experts here,
the detectives from criminal
gang homicide division.
- Stinson is our front man.
Our detectives need to
make these meetings,
but Stinson's there, he's
there at those meetings.
He's our liaison, between
us and the community
and a lot of the groups
that we deal with.
It's clearly, they're not
catchin' any of these murderers.
So, if they aren't
catchin' the murderers,
so what's goin' on with the
money that's not being used
to prosecute these people,
'cause they're not
bein' arrested.
The biggest thing for the
community is not knowing
when these killers
are apprehended.
The victims' families
wanna see those arrests.
We wanna hear about them.
Our children need
to hear about them.
Keep somethin' in mind, just
because January first, 2013
arrives, doesn't mean we're
not working cases a year ago,
two years ago, three years ago.
And then take it a step
further, a case gets solved,
well guess what happens now?
Now you're bringing the
district attorney's office
into, another entity
into this case.
There's only so
many hours in a day,
but the fact of the matter is,
you get 100% from these guys.
We need to get to those,
those those voices
that you know you
are havin' right now,
about your kids,
and somebody's kids,
we need to get to those.
'Cause we don't have them often,
and lord knows,
payin' their salaries,
ya'll need to get
to them, right now.
You here me, get to
them right now, please.
How I came involved in the
criminal gang homicide division
is, there was a situation
with me, and perhaps,
impacting not only the
hearts of the men and women
in uniform, but also
those in the community.
When we talking about
what we need to do,
is we need to go home
and tell our kids to
knock it the f-off with
all this, gang bangin'.
Now it's a lot going on,
but this gang bangin' stuff
is takin' away a lot
a young talented kids.
It's been four years now,
and they need to start seein'
the faces of women like me,
'cause I can't get over it.
I get up every day and
do what I have to do,
but I miss my son
every single day.
July 18th, 2009, 6:30
on the dot that morning.
Knock on the door, and
I'm thinking to myself,
my son has lost the key again,
now I gotta get
up and let him in.
And I told him, this is your
last, this is your third key.
Unbeknownst to me, I look
out the door, screen door,
and there's two detectives
with two notebook binders,
thick, well I'm a seasoned
law enforcement officer,
I know what this is.
This is not good.
They got a job to do,
we have a job to do.
They got all these murders
that's out here and unsolved
'cause people not steppin' up,
'cause they know they stickin'
to the codes of the streets.
Until that change, they gonna
always have a stack a murders,
so why are we sittin' here,
beatin' around the bush?
They can't solve 'em
unless the people help 'em.
That's right.
- Bottom line.
When he told
me, and said look,
"Do you have a son
named Amire Brown?"
I said, "Yes, I do."
"Do you know he was at
a party last night?"
I says, "No, he's 21, he's
entitled to go to a party."
I says, "Is there a problem?"
He says, "Well, Stinson
I hate to tell you,
"but your son was shot,
and he didn't make it."
My life has never been the same.
If our kids are
bein' murdered for
steppin' up and talking,
they don't feel protected.
So they're caught in a squeeze.
My son was dead before
he could even testify
to what happened.
When I see a young black
man walkin' down the street,
he's afraid, that he's not
gonna make it to the corner.
This has to stop.
My son being clean-shaven,
6-3, weighed 240,
ran the 4.4 the 40, football
player, very healthy lookin'.
Was tying his shoe,
and looked up,
two young men, gang members,
without provocation,
the shooter produced
the weapon, a handgun,
and shot my son three times.
I felt
like he was so quick
to label gangs that,
I'm gonna just put it out there,
the white aren't in here, in
the hood, talking to people.
The people that actually
work in the community
are not from the community.
How do you know what
we're goin' through?
How do you know what
we feel, or anything?
You guys don't live here.
This doesn't happen
in a lot of communities.
You're not gonna get criminal
gang homicide detectives
to come and talk in a
community meeting like this.
When Stinson stands
up to a group of people,
and when he can tell, and
share that commonality of,
"I've suffered a loss,
my child was gunned down,
"gang violence, in the
same neighborhood."
When he throws that
down on the table,
people really listen to him.
They know he's not
just some cop up there,
feedin' 'em some bullshit.
When my son was murdered,
these are the men that helped
apprehend the suspect,
and the person's
serving prison time now.
So, they have a very
dear place in my heart.
It was not real to me until,
on the table,
covered up with a white cloth,
I remember touchin' my son
from the top of his head
to the bottom of his feet,
and feeling his cold body
the stiffness that had set in,
and realized that the
life that I had known,
that I was responsible for
procreating into this earth,
now had moved on.
And, as a parent, nothing
will leave you as helpless,
and as meek and
broken, as that moment.
As you all know, my
son Jerrell was murdered,
and the detective right
here, Rick Gordon,
he was the one who
worked with that case,
and brought it to where
the guy was convicted.
75 years to life...
he stayed in touch
with our family,
and then I stayed in
touch with them as well.
I didn't sit back and wait.
For three years I
had to go to court,
and when it got turned
over to the DA's office,
what they talk about, the
murder book looks like,
is this fat.
If I could add
somethin' on that,
it was so important for you to
be there every day in trial,
because the jury has
to see the family,
they gotta see that
somebody cares.
And that is so critical.
When it came down to
workin' criminal gang
homicide division,
when it came to bein' a
gang intervention liaison,
when it was posed to me,
it took me a year.
To answer that call.
I had to turn down
the volume of life,
to hear the whisper of God.
And when i heard
that whisper, I knew
that this is where
I needed to be
for the remaining of my
years on this department.
This is where I needed
to put my best practices,
because forgiveness
is a process,
it doesn't happen over night.
Healing is a process, it
doesn't happen overnight.
Many of us have lost
somebody close to us,
and for me personally
it's not about the badge
and uniform at the
end of the day.
When I sit at that table
it's about sharing,
and understanding that
we all have been hurt,
some of us still hurt
more than others,
but if we could say
something to one another,
to encourage one another,
to say hey, you know what,
all hope is not lost,
we don't have to go
through life being bitter.
Forgiveness is powerful,
unconditional love is powerful.
The violent crime,
it stops with us.
We thank you oh God
for the information,
and the beautiful dialogue
that took place this evening.
We thank you for every
heart, mind, and spirit
that has been present.
We thank you oh God for those
who have traveled so far
to be with us this evening.
We pray oh God that as
we separate ourselves
to go to our separate homes,
we leave each other physically
but not spiritually.
We pray oh God that the
families that we return to
shall be whole, they
shall be at peace.
We pray this in your name,
oh God, Jesus Christ, amen.
Okay, we
need you to put up the chairs,
but not the tables.
gonna put 'em up then.
No, I
ain't puttin' up nothing.
As a matter a fact, I'll
see you later everybody
'cause I gotta, I'm gonna
I was on the phone actually,
when I first heard the shot.
I said please, my mom, my
son, and his girlfriend
has been shot.
I sat the phone down,
and then I'm thinkin',
I gotta set it down to where
nobody'll bump it or hit it,
'cause that have to
hear what's goin' on,
'cause I was by myself.
She laid down, I could
see her, I was like,
"Crystal, sweetie are you okay?"
After I came from my mom, to it,
then I went to go
see about my son.
'cause I heard him coughing.
Then, as he was coughing I had
turned away and
he spit up blood.
He was hit in the,
I knew it was somewhere
in the upper body.
And I said, "Son," he
was grabbin' at his neck,
so I immediately just
started choking him,
I think I choked him.
And I was like, "Son, oh
my gosh, we gotta get you
"to the hospital."
And when I ran out to
the street, I was like,
"Help, please, somebody,
help me, help me.
"My mom, my son, his
girlfriend, somebody."
And I seen the fire
department come,
and he parked, he
stopped right there,
and there.
I just needed help,
my mom was dyin'.
Crystal was dyin',
I needed to help my son
he was, they were dying.
It's okay,
it's okay, it's okay.
The ambulance passed
by me, he passed by me,
and I looked, and I'm
goin', "Right here,
"come on, jump the island,
I'm think, I'm like,
"get right here."
They didn't come.
He yelled at me, he
yelled at me, he was like,
"We can't do anything
until we get."
And I was where I could
see a group of police
down here already.
What makes you think
that it wasn't clear.
They're walkin' around
my mom, and my son,
and his girlfriend,
and they're dying.
They didn't get
no help.
- Let us all pray.
Lord God, we come before you,
just once again, asking you
God to strengthen the family.
Lord, I ask, that you open
up the kingdom of heaven
for the grandmother,
for the young girl.
I ask God that you give
the son a speedy recovery.
Lord, I ask that you
continue to hold on
to this community.
All the resources that
we have, that we need.
We ask God that you
touch the community,
touch these politicians,
touch the congressmen,
touch everybody lettin'
'em know that we need
more help here.
We need help here, Lord.
All the funding
that's goin' around,
that's given out to other
places in the world,
we need it right
here in Englewood.
We need it right
here in Compton.
We need it right here in LA.
We need it right here in Watts.
Let 'em hear us, God.
We need resources oh
God, so we can put this,
just a stop onto this nonsense.
I ask God in the name of
Jesus, we rebuke that demon
in the name of Jesus.
We rebuke him in
the name of Jesus.
I ask that you clear
this neighborhood God,
with all this evilness.
Lord with all the
programs goin' on,
all the interventionists
that's doin' the work,
I ask God that you continue
to give them the resources
that we need to continue
to better the families.
You said raise up a child in
the way that they should be,
and when they grow old,
they will not depart.
So we need to take
our communities back.
But we need, oh God, your help
to get it to the people
that can change some things.
In the mighty name of Jesus
we pray to you and only you.
Let everyone that hears
the sound of my voice say,
"Thank God."
Thank God.
- And amen.
We need to change some
policies, I know that.
We need some policy
changes, in this case.
- In 2009,
things were so troubling.
Cameras at that time, were
coming out and finding that
hysterical mother,
that hysterical wife,
that hysterical girlfriend,
and putting that
camera in her face.
And they were askin',
"Well how do you feel?"
That's such a stupid question.
I'm just gonna use
a plain word for it.
I'm not trying to be
political correct.
It was a stupid question.
So when the media stopped
coming to the vigils
and the murders, turned
their backs on us,
and just didn't care anymore,
and it was so obvious.
A higher power stepped in and
told me to take it to the air.
And I thought, I can't do that.
I don't know
anything about radio.
And I just found myself
over there in that office
one Monday, asking
for a time slot,
and paying them
for that 30 minutes
that turned into
Gang Talk Radio.
opinions expressed on the
following program are
those of the speaker,
and do not necessarily reflect
the views of KTYM radio,
its staff, management,
or clients.
- Well, hello, hello, hello.
God bless you community
family, and welcome to
Gang Talk with Sister
Herron and Skip Townsend.
I took on that name because
I had a passion for homicide.
I didn't go with
any dedicated plan,
I kinda backed into it.
And backed into it
because there was a need.
There was no voice, no voice
out here speaking to this
and I didn't really
go with an objective,
other than to
discuss this horror.
I asked you here for a
very specific purpose,
that was, to share your,
a little bit about your
history and how it brought
you to where you are now.
The best gift in the show
is to hear those wide-range
of voices, not just mine.
Hear the men, hear the
women, hear the kids,
hear the public leadership.
One day at school, I remember
the school being shut down.
Somebody said, "The Crips are
coming, the Crips are coming."
And so, I'm thinkin',
who are the Crips?
Who has this much power
to shut down a school?
I kinda took a pledge right
then, within myself to say,
whatever has that amount
of power, I wanted in,
I wanted in on that power.
I wanted to be a part a that.
- What was the pull,
did you wanna belong to that
fellowship of men?
Was it glamorized,
was it a safety net,
was it just a
sense of belonging?
To see, young men,
walkin', marchin' together,
hangin' out together, that
solidarity that they had,
it gave them a status
in the community.
So I wanted to be a part a that.
That was the mission statement
a Gang Talk, originally,
was to dialogue about this,
try to get more people engaged
to wake up, become
sensitive to it,
don't treat it like it's
somebody else's problem,
it's right in your neighborhood.
So it evolved that way.
You know, listenin' to
Ben, I was more infatuated
as well as
in fear of the power that
I seen these guys had had.
As I walked to and from school,
and to protect my little
brother and my sister,
I had to be a part a somethin',
because I didn't
have the strength.
So at that time, I joined
the community gang.
from there on out,
my life has kinda
like been really...
don't have to explain it,
- Thank you.
Because we've all
kind of lived it.
We've all been in this
nightmare together,
from these beginnings
that seemed so innocent,
to what brings us here today.
What is my role?
Is to be a participant
in the recovery.
That's my role, and to
encourage others to be engaged
in a recovery, and to be aware
that a recovery is necessary.
So that's my role.
What got you here, Bishop?
Thank you, one incident that
really changed my life is,
I got into an altercation
with some little young guys,
shot at me, and did not hit me.
Turned around, it was bullet
holes all in of my grill
and tire went flat.
And I was not hit, but I
went to go and grab a weapon
to retaliate.
And when I went to
go grab this weapon,
it always brings tears to
my eyes 'cause it's so true,
'cause I know how, a lot a
times people give testimonies,
they testimony
turns into a brag,
but I just have to brag on
how Jesus helped me this day,
because when I went to go
get this weapon to retaliate,
it was a Bible where I
usually would keep a pistol.
And that was a Saturday
night, and the next day,
I mean God spoke
to me right then,
said you don't get
no more chances.
Everybody, you don't
get no more chances.
That next day I went and got
baptized by Dr. Garon Harden,
at Long Beach Greater Open Door.
And I was so wicked
I got double-dipped,
I got double-dipped.
- I'm a community partner.
I'm a stakeholder
in my neighborhood.
I'm the neighbor, I'm
the next door neighbor,
I'm not the leader.
I'm the next door neighbor.
I'm the mother that raised my
children under this threat.
I'm the neighbor that's got
bullet holes in my house too.
They've shot up my
neighborhood, I'm not unique.
I'm just somebody, that
has a big enough mouth,
that thought it
was worth investing
my passion in this,
and everything else has
come about because of that.
If I wasn't engaged, I
wouldn't be on the radio.
I played Russian
Roulette with my life,
ever since 1977 when
I joined the gang.
I've been in and out of prison,
in and out of institutions.
I've been addicted
to gang bangin',
I've been addicted to drugs,
I've been addicted to
everything negative.
Today, I'm tryin'
something positive.
I believe in this second chance
and I'm tryin'
somethin' positive.
When I walked into the
church of Cease Fire meeting,
and the people they accepted me.
It was a blessing for me, and
it brought tears to my eyes
knowin' that the mothers
and fathers that was there
that have lost a loved
one to gang violent,
and their child wasn't
even a part of a gang,
I felt that I was a
part of their loss,
because there's no good
thing about a gang.
There's two ways out,
death or imprisonment,
unless you open your
eyes and realize that,
take all opportunities
to turn over a new leaf.
- If I wasn't with these folks,
I wouldn't have a radio
show called Gang Talk.
You see, they've all kinda
come together out of that need
for this healing
that has come about.
So, my job is just
the mouthpiece.
We have to embrace you.
How are we gonna close
the door to our family,
that's who you are.
You're a member of my family,
you're a member of my community.
If I close the door to you,
you're gonna stay angry.
You're never gonna
get a chance to
know what it is to be redeemed.
And as believers, we're
suppose to practice redemption,
aren't we?
right, yeah, that's right.
- Okay, that includes you.
Especially anybody looking
for it, huh Bishop?
That's right, I
mean I was the chief a sinners,
but God said I did in
ignorance and unbelief,
so I didn't know no better,
but now I know
better, I do better.
And you're teaching,
you're teaching and sharing.
I haven't lost my passion for it
because my message
hasn't changed.
And my message is,
how do we save our kids
from killing themselves?
Do you wanna live, yes or no?
And they have to answer me.
And that's the hard question
to ask these young men now.
Do you wanna live, yes or no?
And you'd be surprised
at the answer you'll get.
That's the sad thing,
you'll be surprised
by the answers you'll get.
I got a call
early Sunday morning
regarding a double homicide
possibly related to
a traffic accident,
in the area of 50th
Street and Figuro
in the city of Los Angeles.
It was a early Sunday morning,
it was a beautiful
California day.
There's a church right up
the street with a lot a cars.
It's unusual for a double
homicide to occur like that.
Can we hold just to
this block, in the house?
Are you guys good with that?
We can
close at 4-9 Place, and 5-1,
- Right.
Still keep this tape,
still keep Flower taped,
Flower's open.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Yeah, take your units.
When I got there, it was
obviously a tactical situation.
Does this other female
have a freakin' cell phone,
call her, hey,
give her an opportunity,
"You got a key to that place?
"If not, we're gonna
kick in the door."
Give her that option, but hey,
we're not gonna play here.
The uniform
personnel like our SEU,
and our patrol units render
a certain location safe.
Meaning they clear it, or
get the people out of it,
be sure it's safe
so I can do my job.
We got containment,
we got set up,
made it all the way
out, because we have to
because we cannot put
these detectives down-range
and start conducting
until we are sure that no
one else is in that house.
Well, the one guy, he set
up his camera right away,
'cause he knew that he
was gonna be pushed back.
And he started
filmin' and I said,
"Okay, look, you
gotta do me a favor,
you can't show the
license plates."
I said, "We, this thing
may still be in play."
The media tries to find
out, to give to the public,
obviously is it gang related?
Was this random?
A personal killing,
that type of thing.
And we give them what we know.
And if we're not sure,
we usually don't give it.
Because we don't wanna
give out mis-information
to the public.
So you see the two
cars behind us here.
Those individuals were some
how or other involved in
some form of road
rage last night.
They ended up here, at which
point our suspects walked up
one them carrying a shotgun.
He basically asked,
what set you're from,
basically asking what
gang you're from.
The homicides we usually
investigate are usually
senseless, of no reason.
He'd mistaken these two innocent
individuals as gang members.
And he shot 'em close
range with a shotgun.
- About half a block down,
the family noticed some blood
down there, on the street.
So we wanna swab that, right.
Keep somethin' in mind,
all this brain matter,
and all this stuff out here,
the coroner's got it, okay?
So, we'll photograph it, but
they'll collect all that stuff.
The first thing you need to do,
is you need to call
SID print check,
see if there's room down
there for these cars too.
- Okay I'll do that right now.
So SID for electronics,
and then the print check
to make sure there's room.
- Right.
In 1995, my only child Reginald
was murdered in San Pedro.
As of today, his case
is still unsolved.
It has been my dream for years
to have an unsolved
homicides summit,
after meeting so
many of you families
who cases were unsolved.
This summit will focus on
the challenges and solutions
surrounding unsolved homicides.
LaWanda got involved
with the families,
she shared the grief, she
lost a child to homicide.
So she was able to share
her grief with other folks,
and that over the
years has really grown.
And so then I have
this little woman,
who come knocking on my
door one day,
"My name is LaWanda Hawkins."
She changed my life.
She's the veteran, she's the
OG that really started a lot
of what we see.
There's a period of time
when, in law enforcement,
and on the news beat or on TV,
where we called
cases "cold cases."
But when you really got
to thinkin' about it,
that was a term that
never should've been used.
And LaWanda was somebody
who reminded me of that.
- Who I feel I'm serving is
the family of the victim.
To bring them some
sense of justice.
But, by doing that, you
also serve the community
because you've taken a
murderer off the street.
- I'm a ticked off old lady
about what's happened
in my family.
And I know all of you are too.
First of all, I am the
sister of Nicky Thompson,
who was murdered, along
with his wife, Trudy.
And it took us 18
years to get to trial.
Before Nick and
Trudy were murdered,
our only son, Scott,
was also murdered.
He was murdered by somebody
that was out on bail
for killing somebody else.
And I was told at the
recent parole hearing,
"Mrs. Campbell, it no longer
matters about what this man
"did, it's whether he's
been good in prison."
Even though he premeditated
our son's murder,
strangled him, bloodied him up,
threw him out of an airplane
so the sharks would eat him.
No parent ever expects
to bury their own child.
No parent.
I wasn't prepared.
Everything I had lived
for at that juncture,
up to that point, was to
leave him in a better state
than I was left in.
But it didn't happen that way.
I always view murder
victims as lost souls.
And there are a lot of
loss souls that always are
circling in my mind.
And it's a struggle
that I deal with,
but it's a struggle that's
a good one in some respects
'cause we can, then it keeps
me focused on pushing forward.
We bond with a lot of
the families of victims
because we end up going
through a very traumatic event
with that family.
And it's very difficult
not to form a bond,
being there, notifying a
family of a loved one's death,
and then taking
and investigating that murder
and to try to bring some
closure to that family.
It's hard to avoid a
bond being created.
I am troubled
If not distressed
Perplexed but
Not in despair
I'm a vessel
Full of power
With a treasure
Hidden in me
I started in the
prison ministry.
I went to school to Long
Beach Bible College.
I earned my Associate's
Degree in Biblical Studies.
They had a program
there to go down to
East Lake Central Jail.
I was one a the first
ones to sign up.
When I signed up, I was
going down and ministering
to the young gang bangers.
I actually had to take
off my suit and tie,
and show them my tattoos,
let 'em know, look,
ya'll got the wrong person.
I didn't grow up in church.
This is me, this is
where I came from,
and I'm tryin' to help you.
And for the Christian
there is no greater joy
than to be in the
presence of one that loves
like no one else can love.
So today I'm not,
letting you know,
that I'm not going
to eulogize a funeral
but eulogize a
home-going celebration.
One gang member,
I'll never forget,
he was the one that had
tattoos all over his face,
all over his face, and in the
group he was the tough guy.
But when it was after,
when we had after-chapel,
he was one of the
ones that I was able,
he had called me
over in the corner,
and I was able to pray with him,
and as I prayed with him,
he just started crying.
And after that, it touched me,
where I knew that
was my calling.
It's not a day of regret,
but a day of rejoicing.
Today we come to remember
the life of Dora,
and reminisce over all
the special moments
that you had with her.
Leading the Crips to Christ,
leading the Bangers
to the Bible,
leading the Harlots to holiness,
those are the people
that I can minister to.
To get them closer to
God, to let them know that
they could do somethin'
different than what they're doin'.
You know sometimes God
will take people and
bring them with him to
bring others closer to him.
I'll say it again, sometimes
God will take people
to be with him, to bring
others closer to him.
On last Friday, this church
was full of gang members.
Out of, let's just say
50 people that was here,
at a funeral, that was a Friday,
the following Sunday,
only one came.
But he came to give
his life to the Lord.
I felt so good,
I, job well done.
And it only took one.
But it's, as it
go, more'll come.
My thing is, I teach
one and save one,
and I done my job.
Come on let's give the
Lord a hand a praise.
That's all it takes,
that's all it takes.
This home-going celebration
for Miss Dora.
As Shanita said, they
used to call her Doe-Doe.
I really need you guys to know,
that she's in a better place.
To the young men
and the young women,
don't get caught up
in the foolishness
out here in the streets.
I lost my brother, he
died, he got killed
and died in my arms.
There's so many things
that I went through,
so many things that my
family went through.
I didn't grow up in church,
neither did my family.
But when God saved me, I
went back and got my family
and baptized my mama, my
aunties and my little cousins.
But now as a family,
you guys gotta come
together spiritually
and help each other out.
- Yes, this is Sal.
Where at?
Is the body still at the scene?
Okay, just driving
time, let me get ready.
All right, see you guys.
For a number of years here
during the Christmas season,
we've done a Christmas
tree, a tree decorating,
we've invited victims' families,
who've lost loved
ones through homicide.
This individual
right here is my son,
Brandon Vashon Blanton.
And I gotta say his whole name,
because he was more
than just a statistic.
The thing that I struggle with,
is I don't remember his voice.
What it is, it's a place
for them to begin to heal.
This person who took my
son's life, has not been found.
And I just pray,
because I have cancer.
I just really wish
that I live long enough
to where closure can be brought.
So could you please
help us, please.
Thank you.
Radio call, shooting,
right here in the alley.
Primary unit shows up,
they're driving southbound
they get run into the alley.
And the witnesses
drive into the alley,
see the taillights of the car,
they're not sure if it's
a suspect or victim,
they don't know.
Eventually they
approach the car,
find two people
shot inside the car.
So there's casings and
one flips out a the car.
RA respond, both of
them not responding
and pronounced
dead at the scene.
And I
hear in the background,
"Oh my God, Oh my God,
"this man has been shot,
this man has been shot."
And as I hear that,
I see the paramedics,
I see the fire truck,
and I see the police,
all go by me.
And in the phone, I'm hearing
the same thing but I'm lookin'
and I'm seein' it.
I get out the car, I start
runnin' down the street,
as I'm runnin' down the street,
they're putting a
blanket over this guy.
I call him on his
cell phone and ask,
I'm standin' there,
I see that phone, his
phone is lightin' up
under the blankets.
It's really tough
to sit through
and listen to the stories.
It's really difficult
to see the children,
but there's a certain connection,
especially with the kids.
You're the person, the
detectives are the folks,
that helped catch the bad guy,
that hurt my daddy, hurt
my mom, or shot my brother.
- The guy did get caught.
He got 120 years.
But to me, I still
don't have no closure,
because tomorrow, at my
son's Christmas party,
when he look out in the
audience, his dad is not there.
Because someone played
God and shot him
in the back of his head,
because of an argument.
It's a place like this,
I can come to and I can
express myself without
anybody trying to judge me.
'Cause when I try to
tell somebody else,
"Aw you gettin' over it,
you gettin' over it."
I said, "What do you
mean get over it, why?
He was shot in
front of his home,
because his daughter
was having a argument
with some little thugs.
And as being the
protector as he was,
he went outside to
see what was goin' on.
And as a result of
that, he lost his life.
There's that
frustrating part of,
"Wow, we've done so much,"
and people still have this
violent streak.
- And I miss him very much.
At the beginning it
was very hard for me.
I didn't know what
to do with myself.
I didn't know what to
do with my children,
how I was gonna do things.
And I did what everybody does.
Ask God, he's the only one.
He's the only one
that's gonna help us.
So I decided to
raise up,
get up, and keep on living.
It's different
for us grown-ups.
You know we understand,
it's a little more deep.
But for the kids,
to see 'em smile,
to be able to give
them somethin',
just on that day.
And not to be reminded that
they're comin' to the police
station for somethin'
bad, or some bad news.
That they're here
for somethin' good.
So I just wanna go
ahead right now and say
thank you to each one of you
for all the work that you do.
Perhaps the money doesn't come,
but you guys have
the best rewards,
and that's people like us being
grateful that you're here.
And I just want you guys,
as you guys go home,
think about all the
blessings that we do have.
And even though we don't have
our loved ones next to us,
but just their memories.
Are their memories
gonna keep them alive?
They're dead until we
use those memories,
and we don't wanna do that.
One murder just
effects hundreds of lives.
Whether it be the
victim's families,
the detective's families,
the neighborhood,
the community, the news media,
the churches, the hospitals.
There's so many lives effected
with the loss of one person
through violent death.