Patterico's Pontifications

3/1/2006

The Compton Courthouse Shooting

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 7:48 pm



The trial is over and the jurors have gone home, so I guess it’s safe for me to tell you about the incident at the Compton courthouse that I alluded to in this post.

I suppose it’s really nothing that unusual: a shooting in Compton. I found it worth mentioning because it happened just outside the courthouse where I work, at 9:05 a.m. last Friday morning.

A gang prosecutor down the hall had a sentencing on Friday, in a case in which one man had been murdered, and another had been shot and badly injured. As I understand it, the sister-in-law of one of the victims (the man who was shot but lived) came to court Friday to be heard at the sentencing. She was on Acacia Avenue, waiting in line to park her car, when her back windshield was blown out by gunfire. A strike mark from a bullet was found on her steering wheel in the two o’clock position.

She wasn’t struck, but it’s an absolute miracle that she wasn’t killed.

One of our paralegals was in a car right in front of her.

It’s unknown whether the shooting was related to the sentencing. It could have been coincidence; a bystander caught in crossfire. This is Compton, after all.

The police collected numerous shell casings on Acacia Ave. about 100 feet south of Myrrh Street, the street that runs just south of the courthouse. (That’s right in front of the entrance gate to Compton High School, by the way.) I had driven by that precise spot about 45 minutes earlier.

At the time of the shooting, I wasn’t at the courthouse. I was with a Sheriff’s Deputy about 3 miles away, taking photographs at the scene of the crime in the case I was about to try (possession of a firearm by a gang member). But the expert on my gang case ended up being a primary investigator in the shooting, which is how I learned the above facts.

My jurors were questioned about their knowledge (if any) of the incident. A couple of members of the jury knew that there had been some sort of incident involving the police on Acacia. These jurors had been required to change their route to get to the parking structure because the police had blocked off Acacia, between Alondra Blvd. and the courthouse parking lot entrance. But these jurors didn’t know what had happened, and were instructed not to discuss the matter with other jurors.

As a result, I decided not to blog about it until the trial was over.

Hardly worth writing about, right? No story ever appeared in the L.A. Times. It’s just another shooting in Compton.

Dog bites man.

11 Responses to “The Compton Courthouse Shooting”

  1. If a courthouse shooting had happened in my community, it would have been the top media news story of the week. Thanks for making me glad I live in a little town.

    DRJ (3c8cd6)

  2. :::sigh:::

    And guess how the LAT feels about anything east of, say, Covina?

    I gotta say though, our gang secretary’s monthly meeting is drawing gang officers in from even LAPD.

    Darleen (f20213)

  3. There is an odd inversion to living in most urban areas (and I have lived in many). “Violence” only occurs if it is reported in the paper (and, by extension, tv & radio, which rely on and amplify newspaper reporting.) Shootings, violent accidents, gang retribution, and other assorted fatalities and atrocities always take center stage in the paper. Hence, in the life of the community.

    The LA experience is odder, still. Patterico’s example is not unique. Violence is inflicted here without public or media consequence. To paraphrase a Buddhist parable, if one hand fires in the LA woods, does anyone hear it?

    Before leaping into condemnations of the LAT, I think it is fair to find out what the organization’s policy or threshold is for reporting on the kind of incident retold here.

    [I’m quite sure they just don’t consider it news. Can you imagine if they reported on every shooting in South Central Los Angeles, even ones like this one where no-one was hurt? They wouldn’t have time to report anything else. But I do wish they’d give a shooting death in Compton (which didn’t happen here) the same prominence that they would give a shooting death in Iraq. There’s a war going on here, too — right under their noses. And they don’t do a good enough job of covering *that* war, in my humble opinion. — Patterico]

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  4. I live in the wild, wild west (Fort Worth, TX), where there was a courthouse shooting about 10 or so years ago that lead to metal detectors being installed at the courthouse. Until then, the idea of a shoot-’em-up near the courthouse was unheard of. Of course, the story you tell would definitely have been considered news here where conceal & carry is the order of the day.

    sharon (fecb65)

  5. Well, to pimp my own blog, even when violent offenders do get caught, our judges at times seem to display a serious lack of judgement in dealing with them. Three strikes is a story not about a third strike for a defendant, but about two strikes already on our criminal justice system, with a third K about to be called.

    Dana (3e4784)

  6. And I bet if the Times wanted, they could run story after story about “another shooting in Compton” and demand action. And get it. If they played their cards right, they could blame it on any ill they chose and it would be a Democrat byword in no time.

    Kevin Murphy (9982dd)

  7. No, Kevin, it would be blamed on a lack of gun control, period.

    Dana (9f37aa)

  8. No one was killed?? LATimes doesn’t even report when several people are killed. Number one cause of death for young black men is murder by another young black man. I teach in an inner-city school. Real people need to know that this is what happens when you let democrats run things.

    Interesting, we hear more about Iraqis being killed than we do our own citizens being killed. As many citizens were MURDERED in Calif last year as troops killed in the war in Iraq in three years.

    California is a quagmire! We have to get out!! Where is George Soros when we need him?

    JoeS (ff0bfe)

  9. Well, I was surprised when The Philadelphia Inquirer told us that more than 70% of the 380 murder victims (not the murderers, the victims) in the City of Brotherly Love last year had prior arrest records.

    No, I wasn’t surprised at the percentage; I was surprised that the Inquirer told us!

    Deep down, the liberal editors of our major newspapers know that most of the murders in the inner city are thug on thug, and they aren’t really all that bothered by it! It’s when one of the thugs kills someone who isn’t a fellow thug that it makes news.

    And, of course, when the killers are white. One of Philly’s most sensational murders was the “Fishtown murder,” a sex-fueled case in which two white teen boys murdered a third, who was lured to the site by a white girl with the promise of sex, just so they could steal $500. A superficially similar case, a murder in nearby Chester County, which involved black teens, got far less publicity.

    Dana (3e4784)

  10. BTW, what was the verdict & sentance in your weapons possession case? An arms dealer wants to know.

    [Guilty of gun possession, gang allegation true. No sentence yet, but he’s facing a maximum of 8 years. It’s a good result because he is suspected of having done numerous shootings in the area, which we couldn’t charge him with because the witnesses are scared. — Patterico]

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  11. Good on yah, mate! Too bad he doesn’t have any disqualifying previous convictions (or does he) that could be referred to the USAtt for a Fed prosecution – get the little hero another five in the Fed Slam.

    Another Drew (758608)


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