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Killers in the Midst: Terror with impunity must cease!

Community must stop trembling in fear; stand up to terror by heartless killers and send information anonymously to the sheriff Editor’s Note: It appears our most recent “Local Voices” offering (“Another one bites the dust in Compton;

Community must stop trembling in fear; stand up to terror by heartless killers and send information anonymously to the sheriff

Editor’s Note: It appears our most recent “Local Voices” offering (“Another one bites the dust in Compton; murders piling up,” Aug. 8, 2016) touched a raw nerve in the city, eliciting a torrent of emotions about the unrelenting terror in Compton streets. Some anger, understandably, was hurled at the Compton Herald for a headline some saw as insensitive.

But nothing could be more insensitive than the cold-blooded killings. The callous bloodletting is monstrous, committed by heartless executioners without souls. What’s worse, many of the killers who walkabout free and unabridged, have blood on their hands from multiple murders — each homicide gets easier and easier.

The most recent murder sparked a surge of “Talking Head” drivel, but it failed to do what is needed at the core — witnesses reporting what they know to the sheriff department in Compton. Sure, people are afraid, but reporting can be anonymous. If it means buying a disposable phone, conveying the information, then disposing of the phone, DO IT! But this code of silence is ludicrous! A spirit of fear rules Compton.

There’s a lot of energy here, but will it translate to real pro-action? Here’s what others had to say:

Debra Johnson. “Sad. Pray for Compton!”

Brian J. Murphy. “Wow, this is too bad. I just don’t see how this stuff can be allowed to happen. We are going on four decades of this gang crap and there’s no sign of it coming to an end.”

John C. Plantada. “There is a lot going on that is wrong in our community that has become status quo, from littering to the erosion of the nuclear family to all kinds of crime. When the fabric of a civilized society is torn asunder, it deteriorates. And it’s everybody’s responsibility. Don’t blame cops or government; blame ourselves for allowing our society to devolve into its present state. When we take responsibility for our own families and what members of that family do, then things will begin to change.”

Brian J. Murphy. “Could not agree more, John. It’s almost become cute to some to live this way. You hit the nail on the head with “status quo.” Too many people, except this crap as the norm. It’s due time we stop blaming cops and the “man.” The ball is now in our court. We can be so much more and do so much better.”

Jo Morales. “I do blame our local government (some not all) for convincing some of us that our tax dollars needed to go to other things before public safety had been established. I don’t know about you guys, but if I have to leave Compton, I would like to do it with no gunshot wounds and in the black, not the red.”

Compton Herald. “Graphic truth!”

Margie Garrett. “Oh, that frightens me just to look at it! No Bullets! No way!”

Jo Morales. “You see it here, folks. If Ms. Garrett is being raped, robbed or murdered, don’t bring a gun — you might scare her to death.”

Valerie Lacy. “[We know] there’s a problem. So, what’s the solution? The article is just focusing on tallying up the murder rates in Compton. This commentary’s title is truly insensitive. Time for serious restructuring of our community by the community and for the community. It looks as if we are just standing idol waiting for the next report. We have the power to change our community. Of course this means teaming up with city officials, law enforcement, and clergy in our community.”

Brian J. Murphy. “That’s because we are sitting by waiting for the next report. We do have the power and knowledge to change but we simply have to actually do it. We have to execute all that we already know, the knowledge is there. We are living in the Information Age, no more excuses, we can do it; just gotta do it. Sounds simple, but at some point enough has to be enough.”

Valerie Lacy. “Well said, Brian. In 2005, a six-point plan was put into place to decrease the homicide rate by Major [Eric] Perrodine. The City Council chambers were filled beyond capacity with concerned citizens. There was news coverage of the meetings and town hall meetings, as well. The plan was implemented and it was effective.”

Reginald Harber. “So what happened?”

Brian J. Murphy. “The answers to the solution are very, very well known and documented. Oddly enough they are very fixable and can be executed within a short period of time. First and foremost, we gotta get our asses educated and get those degrees; the future will not be kind to those that are not college educated. Secondly, we gotta stop [birthing] kids so young. It makes no sense that our community has so many broken and single family homes. It’s literally killing us. Thirdly, once we make it, we gotta have more of a sense of community and build together. These three things can be accomplished in one generation and cost nothing. We gotta do better and quickly or we will simply not exist as a race anymore. We barely thrive as one, now.”

Rkj Inception. “People want to want to have their cake and eat it too. Well, you can’t! If you bring in more police and they start doing their jobs, first thing people are going to holler is, racial profiling. So basically their hands are tied, there’s nothing they can do but sit back and let the kids kill each other and then come out and clean up the mess. You can’t have it both ways. If you want the police to do a better job, then we need to offer police [more] support in the community. Being a cop is a hard job. All cops are not bad just like all citizens are not good.

“The mayor needs to get off her butt and change the laws in the city of Compton. No more saggy pants and hanging out in front of the supermarket, the gas stations and fast food restaurants; being vagrant asking for money, and robbing people when they don’t [oblige]. If we really want a better city [law enforcement is] going to have to enforce more laws, plain and simple. If the people and the city cannot come to an agreement on that, then we’ll never fix the problems. The killing will continue and innocent lives will continue to be taken on a daily basis.”

Jo Morales. “I agree, public safety first.”

Brian J. Murphy. “Agree, RKJ. People want an easy way out of this that requires no work or sacrifice. These issues in Compton and other surrounding inner city areas have been going on forever and not only is it a shame but many actually find it cute and celebrate this crap. I hope it all ends before my time is up.”

Paul Craft. “When will all this stop? This is a National Problem, not just a Compton problem.”

Rkj Inception. “When the people in Compton wake-up, which is more than likely, never! Real Talk.”

Brian J. Murphy. “It is a national problem but Compton is a microcosm of it all.”

Rkj Inception. “I understand this is a national problem, but if you look at every other city that has fewer problems, there are a lot of things that happen in Compton that other cities don’t tolerate it. The gang bangers that live in Compton do what they do because they are comfortable in the environment and that’s why they get away with it nine times out of 10. You don’t see them hanging out in Beverly Hills doing drive-bys , you don’t see them in Brentwood doing drive-bys, you don’t see them in Westwood doing drive-bys, what are these areas doing differently? It’s real simple; they don’t tolerate it.”

Brian J. Murphy. “On point, Inception. The gang situation is tolerated in Compton and I’ll even take it a step further and say it’s celebrated at times. As crazy as that sounds, it’s the cold, hard truth.”

Terry Nellum. “We’re not motivated until tragedy touches us personally.”

Brian J. Murphy. “You are correct, Terry and normally that would be the case, but it seems that it does hit super close to home with quite a few people and they still seem cool with it.”

Terry Nellum. “We have all types of reasoning bottom line is that it affects us all as a whole. We have so black organizations that claim us a whole and that’s fine until you need them, then the question is… are you a dues paying member? Come on, the only way to get together is to come together.”

Warley Brown. “Maybe I am a bit too sensitive but the title of this article seems a bit insensitive… . Jarrette Fellows, Jr. should be more careful.”

Compton Herald. “The title achieved its intent, Warley. Apathetic people need to be riveted! You and every decent resident in Compton should be MADDER THAN HELL about the continued spillage of blood sending person after person to premature graves six feet under. The fratricide is insane!”

Satra Zurita. “You are absolutely right!”

Warley Brown. “I totally agree and thank you for your response. Reflecting on what upset me about the title of the article was the reference to ‘one’; ‘Another one bites the dust,’ sounded like something someone from Fox News marginalizing a Black life would write. It certainly got my attention and it is terrible that another innocent life was taken. Sadly, I don’t have a lot of faith that anything will be done about it because the institution of policing apparently has no respect for common citizens especially if they are Black or Brown. I only wish our young folk would realize this and would collectively stop the senseless killing; my two cents.”

Brian J. Murphy. “I hear you, title as per most was just to get attention and grab one’s attention. What we should be more sensitive about is that there’s a high likelihood that there could be a murder tonight and tomorrow it will be business as usual. Also it’s time to start being more frank, maybe even hurt some feelings if it gets the results we need and are looking for. Things are horrible and we just don’t seem to be bothered with it all.”

Satra Zurita. “I cringed when I read [the headline], but the article solicited the type of reaction everyone should have surrounding these senseless murders. We should be more offended by the event that led to the article in the first place. I am extremely sensitive and had I been privy to the information surrounding the shooting of the wrong man by the Sheriff, I would have crafted my comment differently. I’m sorry for both of the families affected by gun violence in our community! My heart is breaking!”

John C. Plantada. “The title was a little shocking, but I think that was intentional. My take on a solution is perhaps a little different. I believe that the problem here in Compton and in other cities where the violence seems to be spiraling out of control is only secondarily a community responsibility. And it definitely is not a government responsibility. There needs to be a focus on re-establishing the nuclear family.

“There needs to be personal responsibility at the individual family level. That means respect for elders, respect for property, respect for others, respect for oneself. That means children should be born into wedded, committed relationships with a mother and a father. It means parents sacrifice for and focus on their kids’ education and instill in them from a very young age that school is the most important thing in the world.

“It means parents display adult behavior as role models for children. It means parents know exactly what their kids are doing and exactly who their friends are. That probably means mostly staying home as a family and going out as a family unit. It means being home by dinner time every day, and then it’s family time. And the community [figures] in such that when an adult sees a child doing something wrong, they feel a sense of responsibility for that child that they will confront the child and, if possible, advise the parents.

“And the parents are actually glad the person from the community took the time and cared enough to let them know. It means being proud of who you are and where you come from, but also aspiring for better and not limiting yourself to only what you know. That means assimilating into the larger society by identifying success and emulating it, not mocking it. People talk about rich people or White people or Latinos or Asians and they criticize. That needs to stop.

“Find who is successful; emulate that…copy that. Kids who are doing well in school should be recognized more than the athlete. Teachers who demonstrate inspiring traits as they teach should be rewarded; those who plain suck should be provided the opportunity to find a different career. That’s how I think it needs to roll. Otherwise, we’re just addressing symptoms.”

Brian J. Murphy. “On point again, John, we gotta get this family unit thing right and quickly. The other major problem is self-hatred in the community. We have to live ourselves, then give back by lifting one another up. The psychological damage is unreal. Waaaay too many people out here willing to blow your head off for looking at them wrong. You can’t love yourself and want to destroy that which looks like you and in many ways is you.”

Brian J. Murphy. “It’s so sad.”

David Parker. “And this is why I will be moving soon!”

Compton Herald. “Running away from the problem is not the solution. Wherever you go, violence will soon follow. We have to make a stand!”

Terry Nellum. “The most powerful tactic of war is divide and conquer. As long as we stay divided the system has no worries, Black on Black, Black on Brown, even Black on White, as long as they are nonaffluent … waking up is the only option.”

Georgia Scott. “Wow so sad. There just seems to be no value in a human life, anymore.”

Mavis Washington. “This is shameful.”


Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

  • Mr wright August 22, 2016

    why so when the sheriffs get the information they will tell the people who u told on that u told them. yeah ok u dont trust those who dont have a real interest in our city. only because they are told and made too like some in the sheriffs dept.

  • Omar Bradley August 10, 2016

    The problems in Compton stem from the citizenry making choices that are not in their best interest. To that end let us examine measure p. Who in their right mind would vote to place a tax on the city with the highest tax rates in the county? Yes, they would be the same individuals who voted for a Mayor who’d never held elective office. And her are some of the reason I’ve heard the voters did so. 1. She’s a Black woman. 2. She’s young. 3. We need a change. Well correct me if I am wrong but none of those reasons add up to the capacity to organize a well planned strategy to reduce gang violence and murder. As a result, in the peak of a murderous summer, the one leader who can and should develop a solution had and has no experience in the process of solving such a crisis, but the voters of Compton knew this and still bestowed the leadership of a community know for its complex problems to someone who could only point to their college education as proof that she was prepared to do so. Others listened to our religious leaders for the answer and have now found out why Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” In closing, I read at least two comments that indicated that some of our residents have had enough and as a result are moving. Well this is the true objective of those who want to steal Compton. They want conditions so bad that those who can leave-will leave. This will pave the way for the industrialization of Compton and the end of its obstruction between the ports and downtown Los Angeles. So, if you are going please do so knowing why. Poor leadership leads to poor conditions-poor conditions leads to blight and a lack of business growth. Lack of business development leads to high unemployment which promotes friction amongst the poor and the inevitable crime and violence that follows. Ultimately this all results in lower property values which makes buying the people who live here out all the more inexpensive and simple. For no one wants to buy a home in a killing field, but everyone in that killing field wants to sell their home for whatever they can get. All this has a name…it’s called gentrification and it’s happening in Compton. By the way, I went to Long Beach State, but you don’t have to be s Trojan to recognize a Trojan Horse!

    • Mr wright August 22, 2016

      hummm great point to ponder over. explains a lot of things thats being seen,how the public works isn’t getting the tools needs to keep thing cleaned and told not to go out right away to get it done. how our park staff is being lead by someone who dont know what it takes to make a baseball field or a football field and how to make sure all parks are cleaned and lawns cuts and make grow. great point sir

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