Updated Skid Row Mural ~ Downtown Los Angeles

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Update on the Skid Row mural we posted about earlier this year…

The name “Skid Row” is known to everyone in Los Angeles, but it does not appear on ANY official City of los Angeles map, street sign, or city documents. Earlier this year, Fire Station 9, which serves the area and is known as “the busiest fire station in the United States” was ordered to remove any Skid Row designations from their 5 fire trucks. In response they created a web-site and petition to restore the name to their vehicles: http://www.firestation9skidrow.org/help.html

The city prefers the name Central City East and would possibly like to pretend Skid Row, and what it represents, doesn’t really exist. Anyone who actually lives Downtown know it as Skid Row and knows where its basic borders lie.

Defining Skid Row is thus a challenge and an opportunity to those who live there or nearby. In 2006 a court case known as Jones Vs. the City of Los Angeles (case No. 04-55324) the borders of Skid Row were defined as Main St to the West, Alameda St. to the east, Third St to the North, and Seventh St to the South.

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LAPD on Social Media: Selfies, Big Guns, and Live Coverage of Crime Scenes

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In 2011, I published a piece here on L.A. Taco calling out the LAPD and Homicide Detective Sal LaBarbera for using Twitter in I what I felt was an unprofessional style. The post set off a firestorm of criticism and praise of my stance, and started a conversation in the media about the proper use of social media by public employees. Since then, numerous law enforcement agencies and their officers have have adopted social media to stay better connected with communities and to give their perspective take on the news. You can literally look up the majority of departments on the big three social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As with anything else in today’s hyperconnected world, sometimes there’s such a thing as overly connected, and it leads to interesting results. Let’s review some recent postings…

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Los Scandalous, a Raw Look at L.A.’s Skid Row

Australian filmmaker Shanks Rajendran, whose last documentary was on similar topics in Miami, has turned his eye to Skid Row. Check out this 3 minute trailer which begins with his first night out on the streets.

CHP Officer Brutally Beats Woman ~ 10 Freeway

Motorist David Diaz was driving by and filmed this video (and later added a very aggressive watermark) of a white cop beating a black woman on the side of the freeway a couple days ago.

Map of LAPD Citywide Gang Injunctions

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This map from the LAPD shows all the city’s gang injunctions, from Venice to Harbor City to Highland Park. Useful for knowing what the police are focusing on in your neighborhood, and which gangs are on the city’s radar. Click the map to see the large version.

Hip Hop Taco Truck Wants to Bring Music and Digital Arts to Underserved L.A. Kids

I love taco trucks, and I love hip-hop. It was only a matter of time before someone combined the two, enter HNDP. For the last five years, HNDP has been hosting everything open mics to workshops with youth and artist wanting to grow as individuals and artist. Most recently, they’ve become a full fledged non-profit organization and they’re taking their work to the next level, but they need support. They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to help get the dream of converting a taco truck into a full blown studio: “With a mobile recording studio we can bring our music and digital arts programs to more under-served youth across the Los Angeles area.”

From their Kickstarter page:
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Celebrating Kings Fans Knock LAPD Drone Out of the Sky

The limits of the LAPD’s new drone technology were put in display outside Staples Center last night as rowdy L.A. Kings fans knocked the unmanned video-recording copter out of the sky and to the ground, where it was destroyed. There has actually been no confirmation that this was an LAPD drone, but witnesses at the scene described it as such.

The “N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton” Movie is Holding Open Auditions, But They’ve Already Begun on YouTube

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This weekend, Producer Ice Cube and Director F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic will be holding open auditions for the roles of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. The auditions take place in Gardena on Sunday at Noon (complete flyer/info below), but they’ve already begun on YouTube from when the film was announced last year. Either the producers haven’t bothered with YouTube, or (more likely) they weren’t blown away by anything they saw. We went through a few pages of YouTube auditions to give you a sense of what’s out there. Based on what we’ve seen today, the hardest role to cast may end up being Dre.

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L.A. Gang Members on the Front Lines in Syria

The above video purports to be taken on the front lines of the conflict in Syria. Two armed men behind a broken wall introduce themselves as Creeper from the Sun Valley GW-13 gang, an affiliate of Sureños, and Wino from the West Side Armenian Power set. In the video the two men shout out their homies including rapper Mister Criminal from Silver Lake.

The authenticity of this video cannot be confirmed, and which side the pair are fighting on is not discussed or revealed. However, one of the men’s Facebook page shows him dressed in a uniform with a Hizbullah patch. Hizbullah has intervened in Syria on the side of president Bashar Al Assad and against the rebel insurgency. However, the page also shows allegiance to a local Christian organization and several Armenian Power websites.

Note: This post originally had the original video, which has been taken down. The video above is from Pro-Israel group MEMRI and has subtitles they have added.

Oscar on Hollywood Blvd. ~ Photographs by Tom Andrews

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Our favorite living street photographer, Tom Andrews, sends this dispatch from the streets of Hollywood, where Oscar is being installed. Meanwhile, a tuxedoed man stalks the boulevard, four days early and a short-skirted reporter gets ready for the big day…

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First Corrido About El Chapo, Post Capture

Sam Quinones from the Los Angeles Times let us know about the above Corrido written about El Chapo after his capture last weekend, and also provides a quick translation:

This appears to be the first corrido written about the capture of El Chapo. Pretty quick. Pretty rough. Reminds me of some old blues song from Mississippi.

As I write, it’s been up about 20 hours, from what I can tell.

Here are a few parts roughly translated:

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