Monday, when I drove past Venice High on my way home, there were an awful lot of cars outside the school for six in the evening. And many of them were black and white cop cars. And cops were stringing crime scene tape in the community garden. And I’m sad to say, I wasn’t surprised to find out it was a shooting.
Now, the Venice Paper reports that it may be gang related. After all, it’s the second shooting inside of a month. Bill Rosendahl is shocked and deeply concerned about this tragedy in his district, and has written about it in his blog. The shooting also came one day before a planned meeting to address racial tension in Venice, especially in Oakwood, which troubled Rosendahl enough to call the town hall gathering even before this latest death.
But how bad is the race and gang related tension and violence in Venice, 2006? I play kickball in Oakwood field, and we’ve been warned to be careful. Friends who live in that area have told anecdotes about a neighborhood shooting last summer. Yet the general impression seems to be that these are anachronistic killings, out of place in the new, cleaned up neighborhoods. RipRense hypothesizes that the May 12th shooting may not have been reported in the media because of gentrification in the community. Is Venice really as gentrified as the developers and real estate agents would have us believe? Or are these tensions still present and being ignored in the face of the surge of a new wave of middle-class residents?
(Thanks to LA Observed for the item and links.)