In what prosecutors describe as a dangerous gang stronghold, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a nine-unit apartment building in the South Park community. The apartment building is an alleged headquarters for the 52 Broadway Gangster Crips street gang and has been the site of rampant criminal activity including shootings, robberies, and gun possession. It is across the street from the South Los Angeles Wetlands Park and is located within a half-mile of four public schools.
“We allege this property is not only an epicenter of terror in this neighborhood, it is a base of operations of one of this city’s most notorious criminal gangs—right across the street from the Wetlands Park and close to four schools. That’s completely unacceptable,” said Feuer. “This neighborhood deserves far better. Our office will continue to hold property owners responsible for dangerous conditions like these and fight to take back our communities.”
The City Attorney has filed an abatement lawsuit against Gregory Stanis White, Jr., the owner of the apartment building located at 366 East 55th Street. The LAPD and the City Attorney have notified the defendant of the ongoing criminal gang activity but no meaningful improvements have been made to curb this dangerous activity.
Documented criminal activity at the property this year includes:
• In August, LAPD recovered 22 bullet casings from at least three different firearms after a shooting at the property. During the shooting a known gang member, who is known to frequent the property, was shot twice.
• Also in August, individuals standing immediately in front of the property followed and attacked a woman, a man, and two teenage boys in their car. As the car passed the property, approximately six men threw up gang signs and at least one of them promptly gave chase in a vehicle. When the suspect caught up with the vehicle, less than three blocks from the property, he fired five bullets at the vehicle hitting the vehicle and the male passenger.
• In July, LAPD recovered 44 bullet casings from a shootout at the property at seven in the morning. Assailants sprayed the property with bullets and an individual at the property responded with gunfire of his own.
• In May, a man standing on the sidewalk in front of his residence at the property was shot and killed by an unknown assailant. The victim was not a known gang member.
The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the owner to live at the apartment until the criminal activity has ceased. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, physical and managerial improvements to the property including: an internet-connected video monitoring system; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures; and armed, licensed security guards.
Since July, 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit has filed 44 similar actions and obtained 56 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of six gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $400,000 in costs and fees.
Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He's asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website. All reports may be made anonymously.