Update & Activism

As we continue our quest seeking financing for both projects "Just 2 Get By" (the feature film) and "Green Light: The Plague of Ethnic and Gang Terrorism" (the documentary), Charlene Lovett is jump starting her activism against the kinds of violence that led to the untimely death of her daughter Cheryl Green. With the support of her family, the community, and Najee Ali, Charlene Lovett is determined to be part of the movement to bring peace back to our neighborhoods.

I've heard much feed back from people living on the East Coast. Most are unfamiliar with the repercussions of gang violence and can not imagine that we live with such danger in our communities on a daily basis. The sad reality is that gang violence, be it black-on-black, brown-on-brown, black-on-brown, or brown-on-black, is moving east. The last time I was back home and working on a production in East Harlem I was shocked to see that African American and Latino American youth were sporting the colors of the Crips and the Bloods. The kinds of gang violence California is infamous for has not yet penetrated the east coast in the same way. However, statistically, the Feds are charting the migration of such gang involvement and it is disturbing to see the numbers grow so quickly. I've heard that cities like Atlanta are now beginning to experience ethnic and gang terrorism so violence on a larger scale is the inevitable next step unless we do something about it on a national level. This is the purpose of our projects. Our documentary "Green Light" will explore the phenomenon so stay tuned for more updates. The feature film "Just 2 Get By" dramatizes the reality of life for many of our youth struggling to survive.

For now, here is what Charlene Lovett is doing as an activist. Her organization is The Cheryl Green Youth Foundation and it's dedicated to giving young people options other than gang life. No one is born a gangbanger; no one is born a bigot. But an ignored child given no options can become both. People say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes that same village to prevent deaths of children, be it spiritual or physical.

Please support The Cheryl Green Youth Foundation anyway you can: http://www.cherylgreenfoundation.org/

Anti-Gun Violence Protest

By OLU ALEMORU, Staff Writer 02.AUG.07
Two arrested in civil disobedience action, as councilman backs the creation of a local gun owner registry. Civil rights activist Najee Ali and the mother of a murdered teenage girl were symbolically arrested Tuesday morning, while protesting the sale of ammunition outside a sporting goods store.

Ali joined Charlene Lovett, whose 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Green was shot and killed by gang members, and a coalition of community leaders and victims’ advocates in the demonstration outside the Big 5 store on Market Street. The coalition included Women Against Handgun Violence, Justice for Murdered Children, the Latino and African American Leadership Alliance, and the Making A Difference Foundation.

Among those offering testimony were Belinda Derouen and Annita Purnell: In 2004, less than a year after moving from New Orleans, Derouena’s 14-year-old son Joseph was murdered in Inglewood by a 15-year-old alleged Crips gangbanger; Purnella’s 15-year-old grandson, Devonya Thomas, was killed that same year by a stray bullet while babysitting his younger brother and sister on his own front porch.

Ali, director of Project Islamic HOPE, and Lovett were taken into custody by Inglewood police officers after sitting down at the entrance to the store. They were released within 15 minutes, returning to the store to say their mission, at least for the day, had been accomplished.

“Charlene and I getting arrested was a small price to pay to draw attention to the fact that Big 5 Sporting Goods and other stores are selling ammunition that is killing our children” said Ali. “Innocent people are being slaughtered. Charlene’s daughter was murdered by a handgun. Going to jail was a small sacrifice to highlight this madness.”

Ali said the coalition is calling for the store to either stop selling ammunition or close down completely. He added that he had spoken with the store’s manager beforehand, so that Big 5 officials would be unable to publicly claim to be taken by surprise.

The Wave stepped inside the store and asked to speak to the manager, but a reporter was told by an employee standing by the entrance that he was not available and no further comment would be made. A call to El Segundo-based Big 5 spokesman Rick Gridley was not returned at press time.

“Anyone, whether they are an ex-felon, on probation or a parolee, is able to come here with identification and purchase ammunition that is being used to murder our loved ones” said Lovett. “We’re here to protest against Big 5 and ask that they either stop selling ammunition or that the store be shut down.”

Councilman Danny Tabor, in whose district the store is located, sympathized with the protest but argued against its closure.

“We need to have a comprehensive strategy in dealing with guns on the streets, in the home and in businesses,” said Tabor. “In the next few days I will be meeting with the Inglewood Police Department for them to consider a request to create a gun owner’s registry. The safety of our community will increase when it’s in our ability to know who owns the firearms.”

However, any legislation faces an uphill battle getting past the ultra-powerful gun lobby. Last month, the state Senate Public Safety Committee weakened legislation that would have mandated criminal background checks for all purchasers of handgun ammunition.

Assembly Bill 362, introduced by Assistant Assembly Majority Leader Kevin de Leon and supported by county Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, was designed to keep handgun ammunition out of the hands of children, criminals and gang members. Additionally, the bill would have directed retail vendors to safely store handgun bullets behind the counter, and would have required face-to-face transactions involving handgun bullets to avoid easy, online access to them by criminals and minors.

The committee removed all key provisions of the bill and instead passed a watered-down version of AB 362. The bill now only contains provisions for a feasibility research study to explore the current conditions under which gang members and children can easily buy bullets. It now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be heard later this month.

Meanwhile, the protests look set to continue. “We expect the store to meet with us and acknowledge our concerns,” said Ali. “We will not rest until they stop selling ammunition to gang-members, ex-convicts and anyone that walks into the store to purchase it.”

Gang Members Charged With Hate Crime

Charlene Lovett says “nothing has been done at all” to address racial divisions in the community where her daughter was slain, allegedly because of her skin color.
Charlene Lovett says “nothing has been done at all” to address racial divisions in the community where her daughter was slain, allegedly because of her skin color.

By GENE C. JOHNSON JR., Staff Writer 19.JUL.07
Prosecutors allege that 14-year-old Cheryl Green was slain because she was African-American, and her mother says little has been done to ease lingering racial tensions in Harbor Gateway.

Charlene Lovett says it took every ounce of her inner strength to not attack two Latino gang members on Tuesday, as a Superior Court judge ordered the pair to stand trial in connection with the December shooting death of her 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl Green.

"There were things that came out in court that I had no strength to ask questions about” basically, what happened in detail [during the shooting], said Lovett, a 36-year-old mother of three surviving children, as she held back tears during a Wednesday morning interview with The Wave. It was very emotional for me to be there yesterday.

Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Fajardo and Ernesto Alcarez, 20, were charged with murder and six counts of attempted murder for the Dec. 15 shooting that killed Green and wounded three others — two girls and a boy. The suspects will return to court for a July 31 arraignment.

According to police, Green, a Stephen M. White Middle School eighth-grader, was standing with a group of friends on Harvard Boulevard near 206th Street when she was shot. The charges allege Green's death was the result of a hate crime, and that the shooting was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang” something Lovett knew long before the fatal shots rang out.

"When I moved in there [Harbor Gateway] in 2000, the neighbors told me, don't go north of 206th Street.™ And they were very adamant about that, Lovett said. We knew from earlier on to not go that way, and I had never been that way until we did one of the peace marchers over there.

Residents said Latino gang members had long warned blacks in the area not to cross the so-called forbidden line, under threat of violence.

During Tuesday's hearing, a gang expert went back in history and told how in the ˜80s, blacks were moving in over there” and how [Latino gang members vowed] to take them out, Lovett said.

The case gained more notoriety recently when five men” including Fajardo” were charged in the killing of 25-year-old Christopher Ash, whom they allegedly suspected of witnessing or having information about the Green slaying.

Still, Lovett said she has seen little change in Harbor Gateway since her daughter's death, even after the many demonstrations and promises by elected officials.

Just a little Band-Aid here and there, she said. But, you know, it can get wet and come off. They [elected officials] haven't put anything permanent in there. Everything is temporary. There are too many young lives are being taken.

How can you block off a street here and a street there to have some activities for the kids? Eventually you're going to take that stuff away after 5 or 6 o'clock, she continued. You're going to haul that stuff away and things are back to where they are."

City officials, she said, need to build a community center where residents can come together to discuss their similarities and differences.

"Nothing has been done at all, Lovett said. I go to task force meetings every other Thursday. And I've been to a few of those. People are sitting around the table and complaining that all we ever do is sit around and talk.

For her part, Lovett said she recently began a non-profit organization in the community, www.cherylgreenfoundation.org, which is devoted to promoting racial unity.

"She's taken it upon herself to bring black and Latino children together", said activist Najee Ali, who works closely with Lovett. The first meeting will be held next month, but the foundation has already begun with services in the community. The next step is to get as many people as possible involved in the Cheryl Green Foundation.

For now, the small joys keep Lovett living day-by-day.

"My children and I were already a close-knit family," she said. "But now, it's just the little things that matter to me now. I make sure that I say ˜I love you" whenever they walk out the door” and they'll tell me˜I love you" whenever I'm leaving out. It's just the little things that are so important to us now.

"Now my niece had a little girl July 2, and her name is Cheryl, after my daughter," Lovett said. "I love it."

- Photo by Gary McCarthy

Pick up the new Esscence Magazine & turn to page 90 to read
an article on Charlene lovett fight for justice.

also check out www.cherylgreenfoundation.org

"Green Light" -- Documentary In Development

A news clip of what's happening on the streets of L.A. It features Charlene Lovett, the mother of Cheryl Green.

Update: "Green Light" -- Documentary In Development

For those of you keeping in touch with the blog, my team and I are still in the development phase, but there's much interest in making the movie. When things get finalized I'll update the blog. For now, the storyboard artist is still hard at work and when he's done we'll upload the artwork.

There's more good news, too. Rather fortuitously, I've connected with community activist Najee Ali and Charlene Lovett, Cheryl Green's mother. They are both committed to bringing an end to the senseless, mean-spirited violence that took Cheryl's precious life.

Together, we are collaborating to produce a feature length documentary about race and gang tensions in L.A. Given that Just 2 Get By is an urban coming-of-age drama about the very same issues, it makes sense to make the documentary. Needless to say, the topic is important to me, but I am also honored to be working with them.

Najee is astute and Charlene is, for lack of a better word, amazing. Imagine being in her shoes, surviving the loss of a beautiful daughter simply because of the color of her skin. I am in awe of her strength, her compassion, and her determination. Charlene is a warrior committed to fighting for justice.

Stay tuned for more details about the documentary entitled "Green Light: The Plague of Ethnic and Gang Terrorism." We're seeking financing to produce the documentary as well as the feature film "Just 2 Get By." If you'd like to assist us in the quest to tell both stories please contact me:

Lorna Green, Writer-Director
Broken Leg Productions

How A Community Imploded" L.A. Times Article, March 4, 2007

How a community imploded
L.A. long ignored Harbor Gateway. Now a Latino gang calls the shots.
SAM QUINONES, Times Staff Writer
March 4, 2007

Harbor Gateway
Photo Gallery
Harbor Gateway
CHERYL Green was hardly the first.

Since the 14-year-old was shot to death in December in the forgotten strip of Los Angeles known as Harbor Gateway, she has become a symbol of the region's gang and racial strife.

Yet long before the mayor, police chief and FBI director showed up to decry the violence, the tiny neighborhood lived with it.

For more than a decade, many say, the neighborhood Latino gang — called 204th Street — had been attacking blacks. African Americans had taken to warily surveying their streets for Latinos, and few dared go north of 206th Street, which the gang had set as a boundary for blacks.

In 1997, 11-year-old Marquis Wilbert, an African American youth with no gang affiliation, was shot and killed by a 204th Street gang member on a bicycle.

In September 2001, Robert Hightower, a 19-year-old Pasadena high school senior, was shot to death after hugging his sister, whom he had been visiting. A 204th Street gang member shot him, according to court testimony, because he was upset that a black boxer had beaten a Latino in a prizefight.

In 2003, Eric Butler, 39, was shot to death as he drove from the neighborhood's lone business, the Del Amo Market, which the gang considered to be in its territory. He'd gone there to intervene after gang members began harassing his 14-year-old stepdaughter. She was shot in the back and lives today with a bullet lodged near her spine.

Butler's wife, Madeline Enriquez, organized marches to bring attention to the problem, without success.

Instead, the violence spread.

From 1994 to 2005 in Harbor Gateway, there were nearly five times as many homicides, assaults and other violent crimes by Latinos against blacks as by blacks against Latinos, according to Los Angeles Police Department statistics.

Cheryl's shooting — allegedly by two 204th Street gang members as she and friends talked on a street in broad daylight — underscored a new reality: that since the mid-1990s, according to the L.A. County Human Relations Commission, Latino gangs have become the region's leading perpetrators of violent hate crimes.

"It took this girl's death to show what's going on," said Khalid Shah, director of Stop the Violence, an anti-gang nonprofit group that has worked in Harbor Gateway.

Two weeks after Cheryl's death, the gang allegedly struck again, stabbing 80 times a white man they believed to be a witness to her shooting death. Five gang members were charged last month in his slaying.

None of this makes sense to Cheryl's mother, Charlene Lovett.

"My daughter's dead and I don't know why," Lovett said at her kitchen table after Cheryl's killing. "That's the question I would like answered: Why?"

The answer goes well beyond a single slaying or a single neighborhood. Packed into the 13-block area where Cheryl Green lived and died is a story of many of the forces fueling gang and racial violence in Los Angeles and the region today.

It is a story of civic neglect and the rise of the low-wage economy, of immigration, changes in federal housing policy and the street influence of a prison gang.

But the story begins, as does so much in this city, with real estate development.

From fields to families

Before World War II, the neighborhood was mostly vacant fields.

Then came factories, attracting workers who needed housing. So builders filled those fields with small houses and duplexes.

"This is where the workers lived," said Sharon Wyatt, who moved into the neighborhood with her husband, Jack, a shipyard worker, in 1971. "The contractors didn't even live here. It was the people that built the houses."

Cubans settled nearby in the 1960s, and a wave of Mexican immigrants arrived in the 1970s. Few blacks lived in the area, but on the Wyatts' block of 207th Street were white families like themselves, Latino families, a Middle Eastern man.

Harbor Gateway was like other parts of Los Angeles in many ways. But tucked as it was into a strip that connects the city to the port, it was an afterthought to local politicians consumed with the port, San Pedro and Wilmington. Residents themselves didn't always know to which city they belonged: The neighborhood was in Los Angeles but had a Torrance mailing address.

In the competition for city services, Harbor Gateway usually lost. Wyatt remembers that street sweepers came by maybe once a month. Street lamps didn't arrive until the late 1980s. The area had no park, no school nearby. Los Angeles police, always strapped for officers, patrolled intermittently.

Homeownership anchored the community, Wyatt and others said. Families cleaned in front of their places. People knew each other.

All that changed in the late 1980s. Southern California was absorbing immigrants and refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Mexico and Central America. Demand for housing rose — especially for apartments.

From 1985 to 1989, 187,000 units were built in Los Angeles County — almost 30% more than all those built since, according to the Construction Industry Research Board.

Harbor Gateway was transformed. From 1985 to 1992, city records show, about 75 houses gave way to apartment buildings — adding close to 500 units. The neighborhood gained roughly 1,500 residents — a 65% increase — with no new amenities or open space.

Residents "didn't have the knowledge, or the resources, or the time" to fight it, Wyatt said.

While Torrance made developers add trees, landscaping, open space and enclosed garages, Los Angeles required only sewer and school taxes.

"It was the Wild West," said Ken Sideris, who built more apartments than anyone else in the neighborhood — about 20 buildings. "It was developed wrong. There was no plan, no thought."

By 1992, the real estate boom had ended; recession arrived. Building owners needed tenants. The union jobs that had sustained earlier residents were disappearing.

"For about five years there, everyone on this block was laid off at one time or another," said Sharon Wyatt, whose husband lost his shipyard job.

The people who moved in were cashiers, gardeners, mechanics and swap-meet vendors. Most were Latino immigrants.

Blacks also moved in. The neighborhood's African American population more than doubled, from 313 in 1990 to 835 in 2000.

Many were fleeing the gang war zones of South Los Angeles, Inglewood and Compton in search of affordable housing.

Others came from housing projects, as federal policy shifted and concentrated developments for the poor fell into disfavor. They came with Section 8 vouchers, tickets to subsidized housing, in hand. Many were former residents of Normont Terrace, a housing project two miles from Harbor Gateway that the city's housing authority razed in 1995.

With so many renters and a dearth of city services, conditions in the neighborhood deteriorated. Discarded sofas stayed where tossed for weeks. "The neighborhood got dirtier," Wyatt said.

Landlords reinvested less, and tenants, divided by race, culture and language, no longer knew one another.

Sideris sold his last building in 1993 and hasn't built since.

"I feel bad. I felt the neighborhood could have gone the other way very easily," he said. "Where they have too many apartment units like that, it's unfortunate."

Feeling 'penned in'

In 1994, Toni Bowden moved to 207th Street from Compton with a Section 8 voucher. At the housing office, the neighborhood was listed as Torrance, said Bowden, who is black. "I said, 'Oh, wow, a way out of Compton.' "

Over the next five years, however, Bowden saw numerous shootings. She and other blacks didn't dare walk to Del Amo Market, a mom-and-pop convenience store that had become the gang's chief outpost.

The 204th Street gang had started as a clique years before. However, it had recently split from Tortilla Flats, a larger gang farther east. Asserting their dominance, gang members began attacking blacks.

They shot at Bowden's daughter and her boyfriend as they went to the movies, she said.

"You feel penned in," Bowden said. "You don't have extra money to just jump and move someplace else."

For their part, Latino gang members feared for their turf.

"In jail, people would comment, 'The blacks took over your neighborhood,' " said one area gang member, who asked not to be identified, fearing retaliation from other gang members. "It's embarrassing, because it's true."

Before that, the neighborhood had been "kind of like a little TJ," he said, referring to Tijuana. "People would say, 'Hey, what's up?' or offer us a beer. You got tamales. Drugs. It was a great neighborhood for gang members."

Tensions worsened when a small black gang formed — the 208th Street Crips. The Crip gang's willingness to go to the police with complaints offended the Latino gang's sense of honor.

Blacks were "writing on our walls, throwing bottles at us and telling on us at the same time," said the gang member. The 204th Street gang figured "that's kind of disrespectful … so [we are] going to shoot every black guy up there."

By L.A. standards, the 204th Street gang was small-time, with no more than a few dozen youths. But it was large enough to terrorize a neighborhood.

"We'd call pizza and they didn't want to deliver," said Blanca Hernandez, a resident for more than 30 years. "The mailmen were afraid. Everyone was afraid."

Meanwhile, larger forces were transforming Southern California Latino street gangs, which for years had mostly gotten along with their counterparts in black gangs.

The change "happened almost overnight," remembers LAPD Officer Liavaa Moevao, who was a young Harbor Division gang officer in the area in the early 1990s.

Older 204th Street members began attending meetings held by representatives of the Mexican Mafia prison gang (known as Eme, Spanish for "M"), he said. They reported back "that Eme wants us to get rid of all the black gang members," Moevao said.

Mafia representatives told Latino gangs to stop feuding among themselves and to collect taxes from neighborhood drug dealers on behalf of Eme, according to law enforcement officials and gang members.

Blacks were drug-dealing competition.

Mafia representatives said, " 'Don't let the [blacks] move in,' " recalled Leo Duarte, a recently retired prison-gang investigator and one of the state's leading Eme experts. Across Southern California, "even those gang members who didn't go to the meetings still abided by Eme edicts" because they had to answer to the Mexican Mafia when they went to jail.

In Harbor Gateway, graffiti and racist shootings climbed.

"There was no doubt that there were directives from the Mexican Mafia" coming from prison and at the meetings, said Robert Lara, a Torrance police sergeant who worked gang detail during the mid-1990s.

The 204th Street gang was too small to warrant a lot of Eme attention. But when the gang "lit off a grenade, or burned [a black person's] house down," Mafia representatives "would be like, 'That's what I'm talking about,' " said the gang member.

Residents fight back

In 1997, police, the county Human Relations Commission and neighbors organized to fight the gang and the blight.

The city added bulletproof streetlight covers. Residents repaired holes in fences — escape routes for gang members. Girl Scouts, accompanied by officers, picked up trash and painted over graffiti. More than 100 gang members — black and Latino — were sent to jail for parole or probation violations. Police patrols increased. Violence fell.

But the campaign dissipated, and gang members slowly returned. By 1999, the Latino-on-black violence resumed.

In April, Michael Richardson, a 22-year-old African American, was shot to death by a 204th Street gang member on a bike in front of Toni Bowden's apartment.

Bowden returned to Compton.

Charlene Lovett moved into her place, thinking she was leaving gang violence behind in her West L.A. neighborhood, just as 204th Street gang attacks increased.

By 2001, the 208th Street Crips, never rooted in the area, faded away.

With squad cars again scarce, neighbors stopped reporting shootings and chases. Instead, gang members now patrolled the streets, brazenly circling 207th Street and Harvard Boulevard on bicycles.

Marie Keith, who is black, moved from South Los Angeles with her three daughters in 2000, believing she'd come to Torrance. One day black children playing on the street began screaming that "the 204s were coming."

Keith watched as gang members drove through, shooting. Black youths dived behind walls.

Since then, Keith's children have not been allowed to play in front of their apartment. When she has to travel more than half a block, she drives.

In August 2006, Carl Wagoner, an African American auto-shop owner, was shot in the leg outside his 207th Street apartment. He lost his leg — and his shop — and is now bedridden, said his wife, Dunya.

As the years passed, older members of the 204th Street gang went into semi-retirement. Some moved as far away as San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga. They took jobs, bought homes, started families. Yet they returned on weekends to the Del Amo Market and drank beer with the younger members.

"They're keeping that 204th street notion and atmosphere alive," said Dan Vasquez, an LAPD detective who has worked on the gang detail recently.

Renewed attention

Since Cheryl Green's slaying, street sweepers pass through Harbor Gateway regularly.

Police roll by often, the city attorney's office is preparing an injunction against the 204th Street gang and Councilwoman Janice Hahn wants the city to buy land for a community center.

For now, no one hangs out at Del Amo Market.

Liavaa Moevao is back, now the LAPD's senior lead officer for the area. His task is to restore the sense of community that sustained the neighborhood years ago — though he said Harbor Division has half the patrol officers it had in the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, weakened by economics, the neighborhood remains divided by race, language and thug culture.

Or at least, that's how it seems until entering a certain darkened apartment on 207th Street.

One recent afternoon, a television screen lighted the faces of best friends Flavio and Gary, both 12. They were playing an online version of the card game Uno, chatting with opponents from Seattle, Kentucky and New York via video cameras.

Gary is black. Flavio's parents are Mexican. They understand little English and live in the building next door.

Though the two boys can connect to the world, they cannot walk this neighborhood together.

Fear of the 204th Street gang has forced Gary to live most of his life inside this apartment. That's why he is overweight, said his mother and grandmother. The family has several computers, televisions and video-game consoles to keep him and his brothers occupied.

Gary's mother, Lisa, runs inside every time she sees a Latino youth.

Still, in this neighborhood where so much divides blacks and Latinos, this apartment holds a secret: The families rely on each other.

Flavio's mother, Rita, drives the boys to school each morning before heading to her job as a 99 Cents Store cashier. Gary's mother, Lisa, picks them up in the afternoon.

It is a small daily act, born of common necessity — yet one the mothers protect like an orchid.

They declined to be photographed or reveal their last names, preferring that their secret not leave this darkened apartment, where they live like members of an underground resistance.


Times staff writer Doug Smith and librarian John Tyrrell contributed to this report.



Harbor gateway

Unchecked apartment construction in the 1980s and 1990s transformed the racial dynamics of this isolated 13-block neighborhood, heightening gang tensions. Violent crime committed by Latinos against blacks has become a problem.

Reported violent crimes*


Suspect Victim Crimes
Black Black 71
Black Latino 23
Latino Latino 117
Latino Black 111


* Includes homicide, manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at a residence or a vehicle.


1980 Total population: 2,139

Latino: 53%

White: 39%

Asian: 5%

Black: 3%


1990 Total population: 2,945

Latino: 55%

White: 22%

Asian: 12%

Black: 11%

Other 1%


2000 Total population: 3,548

Latino: 61%

White: 7%

Asian: 6%

Black: 24%

Other 3%


Note: Census Bureau statistics are for the area bounded by 205th Street, Western Avenue, Denker Avenue and Torrance Boulevard Crime statistics are from LAPD reporting district 504. Percentages may not add up to 100% because of rounding.


Sources: ESRI, TeleAtlas, Census Bureau, LAPD. Data analysis by Doug Smith and Sandra Poindexter


Victims of the violence

Interracial homicides* in Harbor Gateway, 1997-2006

Victim: Marquis "Mark"

Wilbert, 11, African American

Date: March 27, 1997

Shot to death on Harvard Boulevard by a 204th Street gang member riding a bicycle, who was convicted of murder.


Victim: Michael Richardson, 22, African American

Date: April 19, 1999

Shot to death on 207th Street by a 204th Street gang member on a bicycle, who was convicted of murder and a hate crime.


Victim: Dino Downs, 41, African American

Date: May 21, 2000

Standing outside his house on 208th Street when he was shot to death by two Latino youths, possibly members of the 204th Street gang, who were driving by. Unsolved.


Victim: Manuel Flores, 32, Latino

Date: June 2, 1999

Shot to death by a black man on 208th Street. Unsolved.


Victim: Mario Cervantes, 18,


Date: July 22, 2000

A recent 204th Street gang member, he was shot on 206th street by a black member of the 208th Street Crips gang, who was convicted of murder.


Victim: Kent Lopez, 20, African American

Date: Aug. 25, 2000

Shot to death during a fight with several 204th Street gang members as he walked to a bus stop. Witnesses testified that the gang members yelled a racial epithet and death threats at Lopez. Two gang members were convicted of murder.


Victim: Robert Hightower, 19, African American

Date: Sept. 29, 2001

A Pasadena high school senior, he was visiting his sister when he was shot to death by a 204th Street gang member, who was convicted of murder.


Victim: Eric Butler, 39, African American

Date: Oct. 18, 2003

Believed to have been shot to death by 204th Street gang members as he drove from the Del Amo Market, where he'd gone to help his stepdaughter, whom the gang was harassing. Unsolved.


Victim: Arturo Ponce, 34, Latino

Date: Dec. 5, 2006

The Mexican immigrant and cook was shot to death in front of his 205th Street apartment as he talked with friends. Witnesses say the shooter, masked and hooded, yelled an anti-Mexican epithet. Unsolved.


Victim: Cheryl Green, 14,

African American

Date: Dec. 15, 2006

Killed allegedly by a 204th Street gang member who fired into a group of black youths on Harvard Boulevard. Three others were wounded. Police say the gang member was angry after having a confrontation with another black man outside a nearby store earlier in the day. He and another 204th Street gang member face murder and hate crime charges.

* The list may not be complete. Some cases are unsolved but suspected to be interracial homicides.

Sources: LAPD Harbor Homicide Division; L.A. County coroner.

Harbor Gateway Photo Documentary, L.A. Sunday Times

These photos are republished from the L.A. Times Newspaper. Though it's distrubing to see so much violence within our communities, I am perversely glad that the issue is finally getting more attention.

Harbor Gateway Photo Documentary
L.A. Sunday Times March 4, 2007

High fences can be found throughout the neighborhood in Harbor Gateway where the 204th Street gang stands accused of terrorizing many area residents. A gang crackdown is aimed at getting some control back in the neighborhood.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 14, 2007

ALTERED LIVES: Dunya Wagoner holds husband Carl’s hand at a medical facility on Valentine’s Day. He is bedridden after losing a leg in a Harbor Gateway shooting last August. He also lost his auto-shop business.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 14, 2007

SHRINE: Candles mark where 14-year-old Cheryl Green, an African American, was slain near her Harbor Gateway home. Two members of the predominantly Latino 204th Street gang have been charged in her killing.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 8, 2007

REMEMBRANCE FOR A YOUNG VICTIM: Shana Miller, 22, lights candles where her cousin Cheryl Green was killed. Cheryl’s mother, Charlene Lovett, struggles with her loss. “My daughter’s dead and I don’t know why,” Lovett says. “That’s the question I would like answered: Why?”
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 8, 2007

Vanessa Cary, 18, wears a jacket memorializing her younger sister, Cheryl Green, who was murdered on the sidewalk in Harbor Gateway.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 8, 2007

Cheryl Green's first name is dripped onto the sidewalk in candle wax.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 8, 2007

Charlene Lovett, whose daughter was Cheryl Green, marches with others as they gather at a peace rally held in Inglewood.
(Rick Loomis / LAT)
Feb 10, 2007

Writer-Director, Selected Clips

Here are selected clips of some of my work as writer-director. This isn't everything and I'm currently updating my reels. Check out the links to myspace and you tube, where you'll find more samples. If you'd like to screen full projects they can be made available upon request. You can also visit www.lornagreen.org for a filmography.

Show Reel 1

Family Brown
Genre: Drama
by Lorna Green

Family Brown Trailer

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Bloodletting: Life, Death, Healthcare
Genre: Documentary
by Lorna Green

Bloodletting: Life, Death, Healthcare Trailer

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Love Me or Leave Me
Genre: Drama
by Lorna Green

Love Me or Leave Me

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Crossing Over
Genre: Drama
by Lorna Green

A neorealist drama about African migrants trying to get to Europe for a better life only to get stuck in Turkey.

Visit http://www.blanket-party.com/crossingover/Site/Home.html

Storyboard Artist

I've begun the visualization process for Just 2 Get By and I'm collaborating with a storyboard artist. William Brown is a renaissance visual artist, an illustrator and sketcher working predominantly in pencil and ink, a portrait artist, a tattooist, and a self-taught calligrapher. He is also a poet, a rap artist, and a producer of hard core rap music reflecting his real life experiences of surviving the streets of Los Angeles, gang life, and the California prison system.

At 35, William is now a reformed ex-gang member, a husband, father, and grandfather, and is eager to share his embattled past with young people, as a way of preventing them from repeating the same mistakes he made as a troubled youth. Through his art and music he wishes to leave a positive mark for the world.

Here is an example of William's talent:

Stay tuned for storyboard updates.

TV News Report - Black-Brown Tensions


TV News Report -- High School Race-Gang Riot

As unsettling as this is, this kind of thing is common here.


Article on Tensions in High School

Here's an article focusing on brown-black tensions in high schools in L.A.

L.A. High School Confidential
Black-Latino tensions. Gang Warfare. Teenage rebellion. Hype.
Los Angeles students speak out on what�s really happening in our high schools


Photo by Max S. Gerber
Chiquita Jordan, Compton High, 16, Class of 2007

t began as that most high-school form of communication: The rumor.

From somewhere in cyberspace, word spread through the Los Angeles Unified School District that Mexican gangs would shoot black youths on Cinco de Mayo, 2005. And as a result, tens of thousands of black Los Angeles teens took that day off from school. There�s no definitive way to run down the source of the original rumor, but like its cousin the urban legend, the gossip focuses and expresses a general anxiety about something real in the students� lives. A series of fights had erupted between black and Latino youths in high schools in April, including melees involving as many as 100 students at Jefferson, Fairfax, and Jordan high schools, and threat and fear were in the air. But the news reports were so shot-through with hype that the real picture was obscured. The only way to see whether this was race rioting or gang warfare or a bad case of teenage rebellion or all of the above was to get the view from those who know best: the kids who fill this city�s classrooms and cafeterias.

What a dozen teens told us was poignant, insightful, and funny � often simultaneously. Right now, in addition to the traditional difficulties of every generation�s youth, L.A.�s high school students encounter a specifically complex set of racial tensions. Close proximity and familiarity over time, as well as the omnipresence of loaded pop culture, has brought them to the point where a once-pejorative racial label is now tossed about with apparent offhandedness. At the same time, teenage struggles for power and recognition can erupt into violence so frenzied that it results in locked-down campuses. Where students elsewhere might have been traumatized, or might at least seek distance from such scenes, these children take it as a fact of life, like air pollution or high rent.

High school can be a special brand of hell even without L.A.�s added challenges. There are bitter struggles for approval and for validation, anxieties about sex, dramas over parents and keeping up with clothes and cars and drugs, not to mention a massive dose of future anxiety. And then, of course, the pressure to succeed.

But in L.A. we heat that explosive mix with crumbling facilities, textbook shortages, hardcore gangsters, and an invisible, yet stultifying district bureaucracy. As these kids try to find the path to an educated mind-state, they get props just for showing up.

~ The Physical World ~

If you haven�t been in high school for a while, it�s hard to remember just how that day-in day-out � even if you ditch � defines your teenage life. Despite the addition of 13 new campuses to the LAUSD system, at many urban schools it�s the routine hassle-quotient that sets the parameters for getting an education.

Tracy Amaya, Fremont High, 17, Class of 2007: Most of the kids at our school, they don�t feel safe, and it�s a problem � just basically everything, like gangs and stuff, like, �I�m gonna shoot this person because of this and that.� It doesn�t come basically to shooting because, I don�t know, they say they�re gonna shoot people. They end up fighting. People don�t feel safe.

Toye Mitchell, Fairfax High, 16, Class of 2007: We have security guards, but half of them are trying to befriend us to be, like, �that mentor we need.� Push �em along. Get them to their classes. They only really technically try to do their job when they�re being watched. If you get caught with your cell phone, they�ll probably give it back to you. They won�t give it to the principal like they�re supposed to.

Jozik Benitez, Manual Arts, 14, Class of 2009: You might take a certain class, and they�ll barely have enough books. Just say I�ll have homework in my math class, the teacher says copy the pages from your book. They just have enough books for the classroom, not for you to take home.

Jessie Fernandez, Fremont High, 18, Class of 2005: I had a lot of great teachers, so they made sure we had books. But a lot of my friends, there weren�t enough books for them or their books were in horrible condition.

Tracy: You know how kids go late to class? Now it�s like, in the beginning of the school year, everybody�s trying to rush to class, like hurry up, or you won�t get a seat. You�ll just stand during the whole time. But you can�t try to learn with all these people and stuff, especially when they�re standing up, they talk and everything.

Jozik: I just got a letter yesterday to see what homeroom I�m going to go to. And in the letter it also said that if I don�t go to school, they�re going to take me to another school. I assume that school�s pretty crowded, because it said that if I don�t go to the first day of school then I won�t be attending that school.

Jessie: They always make that threat, that if you don�t show up the first day of school you�re going to lose your spot in the school and for a long time that�s been a joke. But I guess now � my brother and my cousin are at Fremont � they�re starting to get serious about it.

Tracy: I have a sister, she�s in the ninth grade. And they said it was too full for her to go to Fremont, so they sent her to Franklin. So she takes busses to Franklin [in northeast L.A.]. She leaves at 6 a.m. to make sure she gets there, so the bus doesn�t leave her. �Cuz if the bus leaves her she�s going to miss a day of school.

Kayla Kirkland, Washington High, 14, Class of 2009: To me one of the worst things was when they took away all the candy and stuff � .

Jessie: It�s kind of funny. They say, like, you�re obese, they take away all the candy, all the soda, but then for lunch they give you like this slice of pizza that�s just dripping with grease.

Shaetel White, Washington High, 18, Class of 2005: In my school, we have no school spirit whatsoever. Pep rallies or whatever? Like the cheerleaders, they�re just sitting around, they�re like [slumps in his seat] you see �em doing this, they�re all sad. It�s like, no fun for them. I was also in leadership at Washington, and we were trying to do a whole bunch of activities, and every time we�d get on the PA system in front of the school, people wouldn�t listen. They�d just, like, wave you off.

~ Food Chain ~

One constant of high school life is that athletes occupy a lofty perch in the hierarchy. Jocks still set that dynamic, but, like much in L.A.-area schools, it�s racialized. Blacks are a minority in L.A. schools, but the fact that they dominate in the realm of sports is just one contemporary way the superficially familiar is actually surprisingly dynamic.

The high school food chain, of course, features aspects beyond athletics, and students who survive figure out other ways to get a little extra juice with the administration and approval from their peers.

Toye: The lunchroom is full of, um, I don�t know exactly what they are. But they�re, like, European. And on one side is a bunch of football players. Football players, they�re a mix. We have a few blacks, a few Hispanics, and a couple of Asians on the football team. The JVs are separated from the varsity. And the JVs kick it inside of the cafeteria. And the varsity, they kick it outside. And most of them are black. So they kick it together. There are a bunch of black groups that are, like, the basketball team. They all kick it together. And then there�s a bunch of Asian groups that kick it together. And then they�re separated by a, like, Korean, Filipino, Asian kind of thing. And they don�t kick it together, but they know each other. They know of each other.

Reggie Quarker, Fremont High, 18, Class of 2005: Jocks usually have a little bit more pull than other people, as far as with the administration. You might have someone pulling strings here and there. But it depends on how large your school is, as far as your sports programs. �Cuz I know our school is pretty dominant. But even this year, jocks didn�t have a lot of pull. There were about 7 that didn�t graduate. They thought they were gonna lay back and get that extra attention.

Kayla: There�s an in-crowd and an out-crowd at my school, but it ain�t like the in-crowd don�t get along with the out-crowd. They get along, but the out-crowd don�t hang out with the in-crowd.

Chiquita Jordan, Compton High, 16, Class of 2007: Compton High�s crazy, but I go through with it. I wouldn�t necessarily say it�s racism up there, but it�s somewhat racism. Most black kids don�t like the Mexicans and Latinos. Some [Latinos] do get along with you. But Latinos know how black kids are at Compton High School. They know if they like �em or not. They just got that vibe. If you look at them, then they know.

Nadine Perez, Long Beach Polytechnic, 16, Class of 2007: [Black students] � that�s mostly all I kick it with. Latino people, they be like, �Oh you�re racist because you�re hanging out with black people.� Or, �You�re this because you�re hanging out with black people.� They say a lot of bad things about them. Like they have AIDS and that they have a lot of diseases. I�m like, �Why are you guys saying that? You guys don�t even really know.� Or I just let them talk, let them say whatever. Most of �em wanna fight me because I hang out with them.

Lashanika Crenshaw, Lakewood High, 15, class of 2008: All the whites are going out in one section, all the blacks are going out in one section, and then the Mexicans hang out in another section, and then the Asians are in another section. But like there are certain spots where they�re mixed. Like in the basketball courts and stuff, that�s like the only time.

~ The N-Word: The World is a Ghetto ~

Among the young it�s become hip to say �nigga,� almost independent of racial considerations. Although many students use the word, not a lot have come to terms with its meaning.

Toye: I have a girls� problems book that me and my friend were writing in. My friend was like, �I�m going to stop saying it.� And we�re like, �Oh, you�re a liar! You�re a liar! Whatever.� And she�s like, �But, my nigga, I�m serious!� And I�m, like, �You just used it right now!� She was like, �I�m going to stop after this.� But she never stopped.

Jozik: Honestly? My dad, he doesn�t like us saying that word. But sometimes it just like slips out.

Jessie: I use the word sometimes, too. And you really don�t think twice about it anymore. You know, I could be talking about a Latino, and I would say the word. It�s just become so embedded in the culture of, I guess, inner-city, that it just comes out.

Tracy: To me, that word is just a little disrespectful to others. I don�t want to make other people feel uncomfortable. Even though it�s probably like just a figure of speech, you know, just me saying that, it�s just not my place to say it.

Reggie: People use it nowadays as simply saying �bro�� or �man.� I don�t know what terms they used to use in, you know, ancient days. I�ve kind of come to the conclusion you can�t really say anything when a word has been taken and been made mainstream. It�s just kind of like it�s popular to say �skeet.� Who�s to say it should be said? But it�s popular, so it�s gonna be said by everyone no matter what it is.

Kayla: Do I say it? Maybe to a boy or something if he�s getting on my nerves.

Reggie: I truly dislike when a woman says that to me, because I feel, you know, that other word that women truly dislike � we all know that word � and I feel like, when a woman says that to me, it�s like the opposite of that word. So I feel like you shouldn�t say that to me, especially with an attitude in the context of how you say it, if you don�t wish for me to call you out. So I feel truly disrespected when a woman says that to me, especially like she just says she uses it.

Reggie looks at Kayla.

Kayla: I don�t really have nothing to say. But people say it at my school and stuff like that. But brown people saying it? Like two Latino girls that hung out with the in-crowd, they might have said it to some boy or something, but some black girls look at them like �Why are you saying that?� Like, �You can�t say that,� or whatever.

Shauntice Randolph, Long Beach Millikan High, 14, Class of 2009: We have some Mexicans that hang out with us and some whites that hang out with us, too. It�s like a big old group. But if they like try too hard to be like us, we have to tell them, �You should be yourself,� or whatever. We tell them it�s cool to act like how you are. You know how we talk? Our words? They try to talk it, too, but it doesn�t seem to come out right when they say it. So we try to tell them that it�s OK. Don�t try to be like us. You still our friend even though you talk like that, you know what I�m sayin�?

~ Gangsta, Gangsta ~

A child in a Los Angeles school doesn�t have to be in a gang to have gangster problems. Associations with family and friends are often enough to bring worries to a young student.

Reggie: I�ve known and heard about numerous fights on high school campuses. It�s never been about race. It�s usually somebody�s feelings got hurt or they feel disrespected. Or it�s over a girl or a boy. Little stuff like that.

Jozik: If you probably have gang members close to your block or whatever � and they�re in between, walking down the street over there � if you happen to see a group of gang members, you might try to play it off like, �Oh, I probably forgot something,� and you know, go over to the next block or take another route or whatever. You gotta watch out because you might have something valuable with you and then they might try to steal it. So you watch out and sometimes you might be scared, but � .

Chiquita: My cousin, she hangs out with a lot of gang members, but she don�t bang. We was at the park and somebody came up to her and was like, �You gangbang?� And she was like, �No, I don�t do that.� And they was like, �Yes you do! Yes you do! I always see you with them.� And she had a lot of commotion behind all that.

Tracy: It�s true. It�s like, it�s a girl I know at school, her mom and her dad � I don�t know what gang they�re in, but they bang � and it�s like, people actually go after her to try and get back at her parents and stuff. And it�s kind of crazy because [gangsters] will be like, �Oh, that�s such-and-such�s daughter, let�s get her.� Try to hurt their family because they�re the rival, you know? She�s scared to go to school and she tries to hide out. Because of her family, she has to be hiding from certain people because they try to kill her if she steps out on the street.

Reggie: [Jefferson High�s rioting] wasn�t that racial as the media portrayed it to be. It was probably some gang violence with some other stuff going on. If it was really that racial, it would have overflowed into the streets, because the area is predominantly Latino. The African-American students while walking home or catching the bus � which the majority of them do; I know a few people who play sports over there � they wouldn�t be safe, at all. They would get gang-jumped, beat up or, worse, killed.

Toye: There are gangs at our school, and they don�t front like there isn�t. This school is predominantly Blood. A few of my friends hang around the gangbangers, but they don�t disrespect us. But they do get out of hand sometimes. They say, like, �crucial� and �cuz� this and �Blood� this. We just never understood it.

Chiquita: Say the Bloods don�t get along with the F-13s. Or the Crips don�t get along with Whittier. It�s a mixture of being racist and the gang stuff, but it�s two different things. If they start fighting at school, say, for instance, if she was a Blood and I was a Crip, that mixture�s not gonna get along. If her gang was to come along and fight me because I�m a Crip we would know that because she�d be like, �Blood be over there Crippin�. I don�t like her.�

Toye: A couple of weeks before school got out, these groups of gangs were gonna fight because of one friend [who] was on the bus one day, and this [other] guy was like �You guys were like B-I-T-C-H-S� and stuff like that. And they brought it to school. Most of them got kicked out because of what happened on the bus. It escalates from the bus or the streets or sidewalks to our school. And you don�t even know most of the people. You�re like, �Does he even go here?� There was one riot at our school. They jumped a guy from one of the Hispanic gangs and the Hispanic guy brought all of his friends up here. There�s all blacks on one side and all Hispanics on the other.

It�s really bad, because it forces a lot of Hispanic boys and girls who kick it with black people to choose. You have to pick sides. Like, half the whole school did not talk to us. During that whole month, we were like split.

Jessie: My life�s been complicated, too, I mean, walking home from school or whatever. You know, it�s weird, I don�t know how people feel that ownership over something like that. It makes no sense. Somebody might think that this is their turf � �You can�t come on this side of school or this side of town because this is where we hang out.� And that�s nonsense. You certainly don�t own that. You�re just living there, you don�t run anything. You certainly have no power over it.

~ Cinco De Mayo Rumors ~

The mass absenteeism on May 5 was a testament to both the power of rumor and to the jittery state of race relations in the schools. For the 51,000 students reported absent that day, anxiety about violence easily turns into panic.

Reggie: I�m pretty sure no one of this generation really knows the history between blacks and Mexicans, how far it goes back. I�m not too sharp on that either.

Jozik: The rumors I heard was: If you wear a certain color, like pretty much if you wear the colors of a Mexican flag, if you were African-American, pretty much you were gonna get shot up that day.

Lashanika: One of my homeboys was from one of the gangs and he told me how in the Long Beach area, the Mexicans that were in jail had told all the Mexicans that are out to kill as many black people as they can on Cinco de Mayo, and he was like, �Don�t go to school.� So I didn�t go to school.

Tracy: I heard about it. It didn�t really affect me. I kind of thought it was like blown out of proportion a little bit, you know? �� They made it seem like it was really something big and that�s why it spread around. It spread fear around people. People do kind of crazy things when they�re scared. And some people would be like, �I�m not going to let some Latino person do this to me, so I�m gonna fight back.� So then it starts tension around people, and it scares people.

They were also saying that they were going to shoot any black person that was wearing a white T-shirt � for the boys and stuff. I actually had a friend and he was scared, seriously. I thought he was playing, but he was scared � he walked out with a pink shirt. I thought he was joking around, making it as a joke, and I�m like, �What are you doing?� And he�s like, �Uh-uh, I�m not gonna get shot, so I�m wearing a pink shirt.� And I was like, �OK.� I didn�t hear about nobody getting shot. �Cause I know some people did wear white T-shirts and be like, �I wish they would shoot me,� you know?

Toye: A lot of things I do hear, it is true. Like, you don�t want to believe it�s true, but it is. And then stuff like this, you can�t joke about that. Either you�re serious and you�re going to go through with it or you�re serious and something is going to happen. Big. If you weren�t Hispanic, you were gonna get it. A lot of people were like, �I�m not coming to school. I�m not taking that chance of it starting if I�m there.� A lot of parents were like, �Oh yeah, you guys are not coming to school.� My parents were, like, �Oh, no. You�re not coming to school that day, even if it is a joke or a theory or whatever.�

Reggie: I didn�t stay in the house the entire day, I didn�t go to school. What did I do that day? I think I actually went to a party. Spent some time with a couple of friends � .

~ Just to Get By ~

It would be soul-crushing, the difficulties publicly educated, inner-city students encounter on a daily basis, were it not for the strategies of distraction they devise and the ways they carve out a little control over their daily lives.

Kayla: One of the best things is, I don�t know, having fun with your friends and stuff like that. Like laughing together and stuff like that.

Jessie: I�m working with counter-recruitment, counter military recruitment, I�ve been doing that for a while. The way I feel about it, military recruiters target high-achieving low-income youth to bring them into the military, and I find that incredibly unfair. I understand that�s the way the world works � I mean, as nice as it would be to have a peaceful lifestyle, it�s never going to happen, the way things are running. You�re always going to have the military, so I respect the military as a profession. My brother�s in the military, and � the way I see it � I�m trying to combat that. It should be an option, it shouldn�t be just crammed into you. Why aren�t we promoting college a lot more? So I�m trying to change policy.

Reggie: The upperclassmen in the high schools should be tried to be worked into the solutions more, as far as giving them certain surveys about what they think and how the school�s been run. Because they�ve been through the cycle and they�re making it through high school, so I think they would have the best insight on what could be better developed within the school.

Chiquita: I do poetry, through a program called Julliard-L.A. It helps me get through my problems instead of going ballistic.

Jessie: People cut me slack because I put myself out there as an activist at the school. I wasn�t a jock, but I�d get strings pulled as well. There�s only so far you can get as a student. You can get pull, you can talk to administrators. They like you and might cut you a little bit of slack. But you�re still a student.


Designing a Soundtrack

Helping me design a banging soundtrack is Mad Large Music.
Coming out of the Bronx, partners Hassan Shareef and ATM
are an underground production team who have produced
tracks for Benzino, Bleek, A. Cage, The Rucker Park Soundtrack
and State Property. Currently they're in the studio working with
Carl Thompson, Cassidy, Game, Syleena Johnson, Riz, DK and new
recording artist Miss Kola. They're expanding their studios where
they'll be producing major artists and developing new talent.
Soundtrack Supervisor:
Hassan Shareef

"Ethnic Terrorism" Research

There's a glut of research on race and gang tensions, now coined "ethnic terrorism." I've decided to add just a few articles, for those not familar with what's going on here in L.A. I also venture to say, although this is getting a lot of press in California, "ethnic terrorism" will soon become a national problem .

Development: Cast, Storyboards, Locations

Latest updates in the development of the short movie.

Because Just 2 Get By is an intense character-driven drama the leads are essential in making this movie work. I've worked with Remo and Jon on a previous urban short, playing opposite each other. During rehearsals I knew immediately they were both amazing professional actors with stunning screen chemistry, great acting instincts and skills, and gargantuan ranges. These kids have what it takes to bring the roles to life, so they are on the top of my cast wish list. I'm convinced that when the short is completed, and is screening in film festivals, people will agree that these two actors are destined for stardom. Here are their headshots.

Remo Green

Role: Dante Rivers

Bio: Coming Soon.
Visit http://www.blanket-party.com/just2getby/remo.html for Remo's bio and title track "Just 2 Get By."

Jon Fritschi:
Role: Rey Sandoval
Bio: From a young age, Jonathan Fritschi has always been drawn to the performing arts, acting, singing, and dancing. In grade school he participated in the first of many talent shows, impersonating Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and won first prize. He auditioned for Agent & Scouter Stephanie Duke, and was trained for the AMTC competition. Jon won best dancer and singer, and was signed with Shirley Grant Management and Funny Face Today.

Maintaining a busy schedule as a professional actor, Jon has done many commercials, educational shorts, and VH1's Save The Music. He is currently attending high school where he is the first chair violist in his school orchestra. He is also the school news anchor, and intends on majoring in Mass Communications in college. His extracurricular activities include intramural football, singing, dancing, and producing videos.

STORYBOARDS: I've had the great fortune of connecting with a talented visual artist who is collaborating with me on storyboarding the short movie, an 11 page script adapted from the feature length script. William Brown IV, a native Angeleno, brings to the project his experience as a multi-media artist, tattooist, and ex-gang member. When he read the script he confided that he was touched by the choices the lead characters must make to survive. Stay tuned for pics of William working and the final storyboards.

Pic & Bio Coming Soon.

LOCATIONS: The short movie will be photographed entirely on location in, and around the city of Los Angeles, from the barrios of Echo Park and East L.A. to the streets of Downtown and Skidrow. To ensure the story's grittiness, we've selected locations that reflect the tone and ambience of this edgy coming-of-age urban drama.

Los Angeles skyline:
Downtown Los Angeles:

Downtown Los Angeles:

Downtown Alley:
Downtown Alley:

Downtown Chinatown:
Downtown Chinatown:

Downtown Fashion District:

Downtown Fashion District:

Fashion District Santee Alley:
Echo Park Lake:

Echo Park Lake:
Echo Park Lake:

Los Angeles River:
Los Angeles River:

Los Angeles River:
Los Angeles River:

Los Angeles River:

Downtown Los Angeles Industrial District:
Under First Avenue Bridge
Downtown Los Angeles Industrial District:
Under First Avenue Bridge
Downtown Los Angeles Industrial District:
Under First Avenue Bridge

Downtown Los Angeles Industrial District:
Under First Avenue BridgeDowntown Los Angeles Industrial District:
Under First Avenue Bridge

Downtown Los Angeles Skidrow:

Downtown Los Angeles Skidrow:
Downtown Los Angeles Skidrow: