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Rocks, Bottles Hurled as Deputies Break Up Gang Unity Events; 12 Arrested

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two gang unity events were broken up by sheriff’s deputies on Saturday night, resulting in 12 arrests, deputies said.

Rocks, bottles and a lead pipe were hurled at officers seeking to disperse a crowd of 300 at Mervyn Dymally Park in Lynwood, said sheriff’s spokesman Sam Conrad.

Conrad said the arrests followed attempts by police to break up the peace rally after reports of gunfire and several altercations. Gang members and others at the planned event were ordered to leave the park by a sheriff’s helicopter at about 7 p.m., but when the crowd failed to leave, deputies moved in and were attacked with flying objects.

No officer was seriously wounded, Conrad said.

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Mervyn Dymally Park is across the street from the Lynwood sheriff’s station near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Imperial Highway.

Just after the Lynwood incident, a second gang gathering at Washington Park in the Firestone area was broken up by sheriff’s deputies when the crowd became unruly, said Conrad. “The gang members were drinking,” he added.

The Firestone group left without a confrontation, although a patrol car was damaged after it was run off the road by a car believed to be driven by a gang participant at the park gathering. Conrad said the Washington Park event began as a wake for fallen gang members, but he could not provide details.

After the riots, major rival gang sets called a truce, saying they were weary of the violence. Since the truce, there appears to be a lull in murders stemming from gang rivalries, though not all gangs are part of the peace effort.

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As part of the peace effort, sets of rival gangs have been meeting in parks to celebrate what they characterize as a new spirit of unity.


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