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Task force targets South LA gang killers

September 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police have arrested two suspects in two recent killings in south Los Angeles. Now, a new task force is on the hunt for gang killers. Detectives arrested 21-year-old Christopher Thomas for the killing of 13-year-old Daquan Allen, who was shot dead at Broadway and 88th Place in South Los Angeles on August 6. Investigators said Daquan was an innocent victim of gang violence.

Police also arrested 41-year-old Edward Olgen for the killing of 22-year-old Ronnie Knighton, who was shot dead at 114 West and 95th Street in South L.A. more than a week ago.

Police are crediting the arrests to a newly-formed police task force that targets mainly gang violence in South L.A.

"Too many people are dying in this community and it is senseless," said LAPD Cmdr. Kyle Jackson. "No one is gaining. We would simply say, again, that when you commit these incidents, we are coming."

"We need to protect our city," said Dewon Young from Los Angeles. "We need to protect our community because it's not good at all, it's not good at all. I have four children myself, so get them all off the streets, you know? Keep doing your job, police."

"Nobody wants gang violence around the community, I mean, because of the shooting. There's a lot of murders happening," said Robert Ramirez from South Los Angeles.

The killing of the Daquan Allen happened about a block away from Victory Outreach, an outreach center that reached out to gang members to help them change their lives.

"Every time I see a young gang member come by here, I start to tell them about the lord, you know? And you know what? They want to know about it," Ramirez said.

Members of this outreach center say that it's good that police want to aggressively get into the community to clean up the violence, but they say a certain amount of the work needs to be done by members of the community.

"Police force, more business owners, more communities coming together working with these kids, and having resources available for them because these children out there, they're looking for an identity," said Ramona Ruiz from Victory Outreach.

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