it’s been over a month An unsuccessful detonation of illegal fireworks by the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad A neighborhood in South L.A. ravaged, dispersing residents and leaving them unsure when they would be able to return home.
LAPD officials said at least 88 residents are displaced. All those people living in apartments rented to them by his councillor, Curran Price. Countless others are staying in hotels or with family.
This week, some of those residents – their houses and apartments still vacant and vacant – expressed their anger at the city and the LAPD during a news conference on Monday. Activists and frequent LAPD critics likewise let the police commission do the same during its Tuesday meeting.
His anger was angered by the deaths of two men who had long been residents of that 27th Street neighborhood. Both men were elderly with health problems, and they died after their displacement.
Neighbors and family members said they believed both men, While no one was seriously injured in the explosion, died as a result of exam stress.
Auzie Houchins, 72, died on July 22, according to her longtime partner, Lorna Hairston, who spoke to reporters on Monday. Before the explosion, he was confined to a wheelchair.
“It was too much, too much,” Hairston told Spectrum News Channel 1. “He’s not the kind of person to accept any change.”
after more than a month #LAPDblastTwo elderly victims have died and many families are unable to return home.
“If the explosion hadn’t happened, do you think Ozzy would still be alive?”
“Yeah of course. There’s no reason. Why would he die?”
— Kate Cagle (@KateCagle) 3 August 2021
On Monday, Ron Gochez of Union Del Barrio, a South L.A.-based community organization, said Ramon Reyes was the second person who died. It was not clear if he was seriously injured, but they said he was inside his house when the force of the explosion caused the roof to collapse.
Some money has been made available to the victims of the explosion: Price’s office last month announced a $1 million fund for displaced residents. But residents and activists said they were disappointed by the lack of urgency on the part of the city government. A group of residents have already filed a claim with the city over the blast.
“Don’t make these residents wait for their money. Do not convert them into receipts,” said a speaker at the meeting of the police commission. “They don’t have the money to deal with the damage you did… It’s your fault. You have to pay them first.”
In her weekly report on Tuesday, LAPD chief Michelle Moore was not the first to mention the reports of the Houchins and Reyes deaths, although she did so after prompting a question from Commissioner Maria Lou Calanche.
Moore said LAPD officials “do not believe the results of the explosion (the men’s deaths), and more were due to long-standing underlying health problems.”
He said, regardless, he was still “concerned” about the men’s deaths. But it was unclear on Tuesday what the impact, if any, of the men’s death reports would have on an ongoing internal investigation into the LAPD into the incident. Investigations are also ongoing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The chief’s failure to bring the men’s deaths in his report angered some speakers at the virtual commission meeting.
“This is a classic example of not taking responsibility. Not even mentioning it is objectionable, and should only be grounds for Moore to be fired,” said Baba Akili, a longtime LA-based activist and leader of Black Lives Matter-LA. said an organizer.
As she moved into the neighborhood in the early 1990s, Maria Velasquez got to know both Reyes, who lived across the street from her, and the Houchins, who lived in the houses below. She described the two as longtime block residents who were known among neighbors as kind-hearted men.
When she was younger, Velasquez said, she would watch the Houchins walk around the block, always stopping to greet her and ask how she and her family were doing.
Velásquez, who is displaced by the June 28 blasts with her daughter, sister and parents and is staying at a downtown Los Angeles hotel, said she knew firsthand about the tension caused by the blast. Huh. She said it may have been the tension of the tragedy that led to the deaths of Reyes and Houchins.
“Come on – they worked very hard for their homes,” said Velasuz. ‘Within minutes, to blow up their houses. You don’t play with things like that – with people’s health.”
Velasquez just got word that he and his family were among the first to receive $10,000 from Price’s emergency fund. Yet she still feels that it is up to the city to cover repairs to her home, which she said has caused structural damage.
He said the grant money would be saved for another emergency, in case she ever gets displaced from her home again.