Suspect is arrested in killing of girl, 14

A Latino gang member is the second man held in a black teen’s death that is being called a hate crime.

By J. Michael Kennedy
Times Staff Writer

January 6, 2007

Police on Friday announced the arrest of an 18-year-old Latino gang member in connection with the killing of a 14-year-old African American girl — a shooting authorities described as a hate crime.

Gang investigators from the Harbor station arrested Jonathan Fajardo on Thursday in the Dec. 15 shooting death of Cheryl Green. She was killed in her Harbor Gateway neighborhood while she and friends stood on one of the area’s narrow streets. Three others were wounded.

“By no means is this case over,” LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck said. “The family will never recover, and the neighborhood has some serious wounds because of this.”

Beck said he hoped the community would feel safer now that two people have been charged in the shooting and seven other gang members have been arrested in other crimes. Besides Fajardo, Ernesto Alcarez, 20, was arrested Dec. 21 and has been charged with murder with an enhancement for the commission of a hate crime.

Green’s slaying and a rash of other gang-related crimes have raised concerns over racial tensions. Residents say Latino gang members have terrorized the neighborhood for years, leading to invisible, racially defined boundaries.

Last Sunday, activists gathered in the neighborhood to call for racial healing and a crackdown on gang violence.

“The family’s simply grateful that he’s been arrested,” said Najee Ali, a community activist. “But the fight will not be over until the invisible line has been eliminated.”

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