Crime & Justice

After Dallas, violence weighs heavily on hearts and minds in LA

Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Dan Tuffs for KPCC
Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Tiah Barnes a USC student waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Dan Tuffs/KPCC
Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Alberto Ibarra, Site Artist at the Summer Night Lights event at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, South Washington Boulivard Los Angeles. The Summer Night Lights program is a public and private partnership undertaken by the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (“GRYD”) and The GRYD Foundation. Summer Night Lights is part of the GRYD Comprehensive strategy, which is directed at strengthening community resiliency to the influence of gangs and gang violence. Summer Night Lights (“SNL”) operates at 32 locations across the City of Los Angeles, keeping recreation centers and parks open between the hours of 7 pm – 11 pm throughout the summer months on July 8th, 2016.
Dan Tuffs for KPCC
Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Bryan Hacone and Diana Pineda participate in an art class at the Summer Night Lights event at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, South Washington Boulivard Los Angeles. The Summer Night Lights program is a public and private partnership undertaken by the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (“GRYD”) and The GRYD Foundation. Summer Night Lights is part of the GRYD Comprehensive strategy, which is directed at strengthening community resiliency to the influence of gangs and gang violence. Summer Night Lights (“SNL”) operates at 32 locations across the City of Los Angeles, keeping recreation centers and parks open between the hours of 7 pm – 11 pm throughout the summer months on July 8th, 2016.
Dan Tuffs for KPCC
Nyallah Noah, USC student (yellow top) waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Justice Singleton waits in line outside the Black Lives Matter LA performance art show at The Underground Museum Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on July 8th, 2016.
Dan Tuffs for KPCC


Around Los Angeles, residents are addressing the violence in Dallas in a variety of ways.

For some, the focus is on  healing and social change. Patrisse Cullors with Black Lives Matter curated an art show at The Underground Museum in Mid-City on Friday night. 

"All we've ever had was our chantings, we've had mega-phones, but we've never called for violence," Cullors tells KPCC. "And so this will be in the tradition of the Black Lives Matter movement. Peaceful and really about holding the grief and what do we do next."

For Cullors, art offers a non-violent way to heal — but also goes hand-in-hand with enacting systemic change.

There was a vigil on Friday night at USC and several Black Lives Matter demonstrations are expected this weekend including Saturday at noon  in Beverley Hills.

For others, the sniper attack is an opportunity to address serious issues and improve community relations. 

The "Summer Nights Lights" program is a refuge for young people, meant to get them off the streets after dark.  

Recreational centers stay open late to provide organized sports and other activities.  The program also lets young people to get to know neighborhood officers.

Devante Flowers, who attended the summer program on Friday at Martin Luther King Junior Park in Exposition Park, has strong feelings about the attack: "It's not right, definitely not right. Crime on crime is not right at all."

But on Friday night, both participants and staff were saying the deaths of five police officers in Dallas — and the previous deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police officers — weighed heavily on their minds.

Trent Grandberry works for the summer program at Martin Luther King Junior Park. He says he has heard some people say police relations are coming to a tipping point: "Most people have compassion for even strangers. But there's a lot of people also who are like 'it was bound to happen.'"