South LA explosion: Community demands accountability from LAPD following fireworks blast

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Members of the South Los Angeles community demanded answers from the Los Angeles Police Department at a community forum held Monday for the massive fireworks blast that devastated their neighborhood.

Local residents want accountability from the LAPD for the explosion on June 30 that damaged several homes and injured 17 people.

Residents expressed outrage and anguish at the community forum, and they want to know why the explosive devices were detonated by police in the neighborhood. They're also calling for mental health assistance for trauma associated with the event, and money for damages.

One woman who lives five blocks from where the explosion happened spoke at the forum, asking for whoever made the decision to detonate the explosives to be charged with a crime.

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"We want to pursue criminal charges to whoever was responsible for this decision," South L.A. resident Marta Sanchez said. "We want to bring more support for families that were impacted, not only at the economic level, but also mental health support."

Other residents think LAPD wouldn't have made the decision to detonate the explosives in a different neighborhood.

"We live here in South Central Los Angeles. This never would've happened if this was Brentwood or Westwood or somewhere else," said Ron Gochez of the South Central Neighborhood Council. "It never would've happened, but because it's South Central Los Angeles we see the gross negligence on behalf of the LAPD."

VIDEO: Terrified residents describe South LA explosion
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An explosion rocked a South L.A. neighborhood, damaging nearby homes and cars and leaving at least 17 people injured after an illegal fireworks seizure.



Community groups are seeking financial assistance from the LAPD for the damage to several homes and businesses around the blast.

"We should have reparations," said Adriana Cabrera of South L.A. "The LAPD should be held responsible for the work that they did in that area... Many people feel like it's basically a bomb that happened in the middle of a residential area."

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