With gentrification, Echo Park gang members move outside their turf

Marisa Gerber (Los Angeles Times) | February 3, 2014

Sgt. Victor Arellano drove slowly through the hills of Echo Park, cruising by the places where he had seen the guys hanging out in the past. There was the market painted bright yellow with large green letters spelling out “BEER WINE” and the hidden staircase nearby. The graffitied stretch of pavement along Preston Avenue and the house where a known gangster lives.

A few hours into his evening shift and the LAPD gang officer still hadn’t spotted any members of the Echo Park Locos. He wasn’t surprised. It was a Wednesday.

So many gang members have been priced out of the neighborhood, he said, that their presence can be hard to spot during the week. But on Fridays and Saturdays, they make a pilgrimage back to their roots. They ride in from El Sereno, Eagle Rock, even the Inland Empire, to hang out. Each Monday, trash cans and stop signs wear fresh “ExP” graffiti.

“It becomes a weekend gang,” Arellano said.

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-echo-park-gang-20140126,0,104450.story#ixzz2sTjLYdlP

Photo source: Nick, The Eastsider LA

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