Longtime youth volunteer shot dead in South L.A.’s Harvard Park
Angel Jennings (Los Angeles Times) | September 27, 2012
For Patrick Caruthers, Harvard Park was like a second home.
It was at the South L.A. park where he played soccer as a child, and where his passion for basketball later flourished. It was where the 19-year-old spent countless hours as a youth volunteer.
He was at the park this week, sitting on a bench listening to music under the shade of a tree when a gunman walked up to him and shot him in broad daylight. Police believe he may have been mistaken for a gang member.
The brazen killing Tuesday afternoon prompted another call for security cameras in the troubled park, a known stronghold for a Bloods street gang. The cameras were expected to be operating this summer, but the issue has been stalled at City Hall since February.
“You would think they would have cameras, but they don’t,” said Caruthers’ distraught stepfather, Louis Blackmon Jr.
“It is totally unexpected and unexplained as to why this is back and forth and not in progress,” said Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who lobbied for the cameras.
On Tuesday, a couple of hours before Caruthers died, Councilman Mitch Englander, chairman of the public safety committee, forwarded the initiative to the City Council for final approval, he said in a statement. An equipment issue that had been holding it up “seems to have been resolved,” Englander said in an emailed statement.
The cameras might not have prevented Caruthers’ slaying, but Parks said they would probably have provided leads for police, and maybe even images of the suspects.
Tags: Councilman Bernard C. Parks, Harvard Park, killing in broad daylight, Patrick Caruthers, security cameras, South L.A., surveillance in parks