Los Angeles (CBSLA) – Protesters confronted police outside Newton Station of the Los Angeles Police Department two days after a bomb squad truck exploded in a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles while a botched detonation of illegal fireworks was confiscated from a nearby home.
NEIGHBORS PROTEST outside LAPD Newton Station 2 days after a bomb disposal truck exploded in their South LA neighborhood. They want criminal charges against officials who called for the illegal fireworks to be detonated and immediate financial aid to the victims. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/zOq0rpUlvJ
CONTINUE READING: Firefighters on high alert as campers head into the mountains for the holiday weekend
– Nicole Comstock (@ComstockNEWS) July 3, 2021
“We have to be clear: South Central was bombed by the Los Angeles police,” said Alfredo Gama, President of the Central Alameda Neighborhood Council, during the demonstration on Friday evening. “We want to know who made that call.”
Protesters wanted to know if the LAPD would have made the same call to set off home-made fireworks in a more affluent neighborhood that is already considered unstable.
“If you would have made that call when we were in Santa Monica,” said Gama.
Martha Sanchez, a marriage and family therapist, is a member of the South Central Neighborhood Council. She said the explosion rocked her home while she was in the middle of a therapy session.
CONTINUE READING: Officials warn of the danger of fireworks, which can cause forest fires and injuries
“I’m so, so angry. So disgusted, ”she said. “And I screamed in front of my patient because I was being terrorized.”
Residents said they wanted criminal charges filed against the LAPD and that 20% of the department’s budget be passed on to victims immediately.
“” Our home has been destroyed and there are some valuable things in it that are difficult to get back, said Jovana Martinez, a victim. “It’ll take a while to get this back.”
So far, her family has been forced to stay on two separate evacuations as their home is uninhabitable, a reality that becomes even more difficult as her brother has autism and her father is waiting for an operation. After the operation, he needs a permanent place to recover.
“You didn’t ask for it,” said one activist.
The previous Friday, 45 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives came into the neighborhood to work on the roughly three-block field of rubble. The LAPD asked the public to be patient while the investigation continued.
“The criminals, as they call them, kept it safer than they did,” said Gama.
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The LAPD escorted some residents back to their homes late Friday evening so that they could pick up the essentials