City officials were strongly critical of a published report this week that some residents and leaders of neighboring Carson are seeking ways to distance themselves from Compton.
"I don't know what they mean by a 'rougher' Compton," Councilman Maxcy D. Filer said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. He was referring to comments made by Carson leaders in Sunday's Los Angeles Times. Among other things, the Carson leaders stated their desire to open a new Municipal Court branch in their city so that their residents would not have to travel to Compton, which has a higher crime rate.
"The people of Carson and Compton, instead of dividing themselves, should bind together" to stop crime, Filer said. "As best as I know gang violence doesn't stop at the city line." Filer said Carson has crime problems of its own.
City Clerk Charles Davis said he was offended when Carson Planning Commissioner Charles Peters stated, "Black middle-class people (living in Carson) worked long and hard to maintain their standard of living and feel it threatened by Compton."
"That's a bit arrogant," Davis said. "The people who came here in the 50s, 60s and 70s, blacks and browns, thought they were coming into something better."
The article also said that some residents of northern Carson who live in the Compton Unified School District wish to have the boundary lines redrawn, placing them in the Los Angeles Unified School District, as is the rest of Carson.
Filer said that if Carson is successful in getting the court to open a new office there it would be the first step toward the courthouse moving out of Compton completely.
But Compton Mayor Walter R. Tucker said the city might be better off if the courthouse were moved. Tucker said many of the people who are tried there are not from Compton and "are just crooks anyway."
He accused The Times of racial bias in publishing the story, saying the newspaper is trying to drive a wedge between two predominantly minority cities.
"They don't try to break apart Beverly Hills and Hollywood," Tucker said.