Police were startled that the suspect in the killing of Yetunde Price, half-sister of tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, is white, the Los Angeles Times reports. The man, Aaron Hammer, 24, is believed to be an associate of the black Crips gang. His race appears to have no bearing in the case.
The Times says that a white associate of the Crips is so unusual in the gang-ridden Compton area where the shooting took place that seasoned investigators did double takes. “You don’t get this,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Merriman, head of homicide. He knew of only one other case in his 35-year career in which a non-Latino white had been linked in this way to a black gang.
“It was shocking to me,” said Capt. Cecil Rhambo, head of the sheriff’s Compton station, who grew up in South Los Angeles. Compton is a black and brown city where non-Latino whites make up 1 percent of the population.
Police confront an almost all black and Latino world of victims and perpetrators in which gang affiliations follow predictable ethnic patterns, says the Times. They rarely see suspects like “White Boy Aaron” – Hammer’s nickname in his Compton neighborhood.
Hammer was charged in the killing of Price, a 31-year-old mother of three outside a suspected drug house Sept. 14. He is being held without bail.