Watts residents, LA Police Commission discuss neighborhood safety, crime rates

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:29AM
The Watts community has struggled with crime and drugs in and out of the street, and on Wednesday night, residents had an important discussion with Los Angeles police.


WATTS, LOS ANGELES - The Watts community has struggled with crime and drugs in and out of the street, and on Wednesday night, residents had an important discussion with Los Angeles police.

Inside the Markham Middle School Auditorium was a presentation about different neighborhoods and crime decreases. It led to feedback and interruptions from the audience.

One Watts resident stood up to those who interrupted the discussion.

The man instructed the crowd to respect the LAPD presentation. He said he knows pain. His mother was killed in a drive-by shooting almost 30 years ago.

He said too many people came to the presentation wanting to hear what police had to say.

"We are a community that is trying to focus on healing," Mac Shorty said.

Dr. Cynthia Medenhall, known as Sister Soldier in the community, spoke powerful words during comments.

"How dare anybody come here and protest against something that we trying. Until we stand up as a people, we the problem," she said.

L.A. Police Commission President Matt Johnson had one goal.

"If we have some heated moments, that's OK because we need to get through those because without dialogue we're not going to get anywhere," he said.

The Office of Inspector General also stressed that they investigate independently of the department, and as of this year, Angelenos can use a free app to send comments - positive or negative - about police to them.

"What is the problem with our community is because all we're doing is complaining. Where is the solutions? What are we going to do?" Mendenhall said.

The commissioners will hold six more meetings, one every other month in a community. The next one will be in the San Fernando Valley.

The next meeting in the Watts community will be discussing the controversial issue of the drone pilot program.
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