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L.A. seeks injunction to end gang activity at Watts home

City Atty. Mike Feuer aims to kick gang members out of a Watts home through a court order

Bullets have left pockmarks in homes and frontyard fences in the 2000 block of East 110th Street in Watts.

On Saturday nights, neighbors say, young men walk to a house at the end of the cul-de-sac, where they drink, do drugs, blast music and crowd the road. Parents tell law enforcement that they make sure their children sleep low to the ground — below the edge of the windowsill — lest they be hit by stray bullets.

For more than a decade, this has been life for residents near 2127 E. 110th St., a base camp for the Ten Line Gangster Crips, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer said at a news conference Thursday.

This week, Feuer's office filed a request for a civil injunction against the homeowner that, if approved, would bar gang members from congregating there and mandate a series of upgrades to property. If the requirements are not met, the city can close access to the property, Feuer said.

The filing is among about three dozen the city attorney's office has sought since Feuer took office in 2013. Eight properties have been shuttered in the last two years as a result of injunctions, he said.

“These actions will make the difference between if kids can walk safely on the street or not, whether they can sleep safely or not,” Feuer said.

City prosecutors say that since 2001, six people have died in 12 shootings connected to the home on East 110th Street. Four people have been arrested and 10 guns seized there in the last year alone, Feuer said.

An 82-year-old woman lives in the home, Feuer said, but younger relatives with gang ties and their friends have set up shop there.

The home and its occupants are well-known to the neighborhood, a resident said.

“I hear gunshots. I've seen police officers running by. I think I've seen them raid the house before,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation from the gang.

He said his family moved onto the street last year when they had an opportunity to leave the Jordan Downs Projects, a section of Watts historically known for gang violence.

But their new neighborhood wasn't any better, he said.

“I think it's equal ‘cause they robbed us already,” he said. He said that in his first months on the block, men from the home confronted him, asked him where he was from and tried to get him to join the gang. They waited for him after school for a time before giving up.

“For far too long, residents of this Watts neighborhood have lived a nightmare because of the violence emanating from this house,” Feuer said in a statement.

The civil injunction request is part of a multi-pronged approach the city is taking to improve residents' quality of life, Feuer said. The city has also been targeting illegal dumping in South L.A. alleys and has tripled the number of neighborhood prosecutors, who work with residents to reduce blight.

If the injunction is granted, police and other city officials will routinely check on the property to make sure it's in compliance, Feuer said.

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