This is a piece I wrote as a cover story for the L A Weekly about systematic abuse of minority kids in Los Angeles by law enforcement… I don’t have to tell you because you already know… it’s gotten worse since.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: INSIDE LOOK AT GANG HOODS
“I kissed my mom and told her I loved her,” Mauricio says. “I was on my beach cruiser, near Gage, near the fucking football field. I went to the school and got some water, then I was ready to go home and get something to eat and shit.
“I was going to the sidewalk. I saw a white Impala pull around the corner. I see two guys looking at me, and a homey I recognized got out of the car. I knew him from before. I used to be with his sister when I was 13. I seen the gun. I was trying to hop the fence to get away.
“He started dumping. I turned a little. I remember seeing the bullets cutting through the grass, then, poof, dirt flying … like in a fucking movie.
“First one was in the back. It made me do a turn to the left. It went through by my spine, through a disc — missed the nerves. It broke my intestines and [went] in my liver. Then another one hit me in the side, in and out. The other in the arm.
“I was conscious. I was on the floor looking up. A clear blue sky like I never seen one like that before. I was like, fuck, I was having fucking flashbacks of my life. I seen my whole life in 30 seconds. I was a little baby and fucking up till the time I was there getting shot.
“I was on the floor, taking deep breaths. Trying not to panic. Then I saw another fool hit me up, he stood over me, like, ‘Where you from, homey?’
“Then the ambulance came. That was the first time I got shot. I was barely, like, 15. But here I am.”