In L.A., Memorial Site Attracts More Deadly Violence


Flowers and candles piled up over the weekend at the site of a gang murder in South Los Angeles. Then on Monday night, a guman walked by and opened fired, killing two more suspected gang members, reports the Los Angeles Times. By Tuesday afternoon, the corner had the grim distinction of hosting a double shrine. “It’s sad, you can’t even pay your respects anymore,” said one man. “It’s almost like you going to the graveyard to pay your respects and somebody goes there to shoot you.”

Violence at shrines and memorials for suspected or known gang members is not widespread, but it’s enough of a problem that a growing number of cities including Oakland, Berkeley, Boston and Hartford, Conn., are trying to regulate them. There does not appear to be support for restricting the shrines in Los Angeles County. Some officials who represent South L.A. argue that the street-side memorials are an important tool for healing, not just for gang members but family and friends. Councilwoman Janice Hahn said, “Putting extra protection around memorial shrines is a stopgap measure. I’m not going to tell people how to grieve, mourn or remember someone.”

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