It was just the beginning of what detectives said was a campaign by a Latino street gang to force an African American family to leave.
The attacks on the family are the latest in a series of violent incidents in which Latino gangs targeted blacks in parts of greater Los Angeles over the last decade.
Compton, with a population of about 97,000, was predominantly black for many years. It is now 65% Latino and 33% black, according to the 2010 U.S. census. But it’s not only historically black areas that have been targeted.
Federal authorities have alleged in several indictments in the last decade that the Mexican Mafia prison gang has ordered street gangs under its control to attack African Americans. Leaders of the Azusa 13 gang were sentenced to lengthy prison terms earlier this month for leading a policy of attacking African American residents and expelling them from the town.
Similar attacks have taken place in Harbor Gateway, Highland Park, Pacoima, San Bernardino, Canoga Park and Wilmington, among other places. In the Compton case, sheriff’s officials say the gang appears to have been acting on its own initiative.
Sheriff’s detectives said Friday they had arrested Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, of Gardena and Efren Marquez, 21, of Rialto, both alleged members of the Compton Varrio 155 gang, and are continuing to look for more assailants.