Title- Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
Author- Jill Leovy
Publisher- Spiegel & Grau
Pages- Audio Book (paperback is 384 pages)
Quotable- Since I listened to this book I don't have an exact quote to share
A couple weeks ago I began listening to Ghettoside. I have to admit that it was heartbreaking to hear the horrible stories that are taking place less than two hours away from where I live.
There is an area in South Central Los Angeles where gang violence is extremely high.
It's a place where cops don't want to live.
It's an area with one of the highest murder rates in America
It's an area where young men join gangs to survive
Growing up in Big Bear Lake I've heard about the gang violence in Los Angeles. I lived just a few hours away, saw the pain on TV, but never experienced the type of violence explained in this book. The stark contrast of my home life and the lifestyle explained here is on opposite ends of the spectrum. I grew up in a community that felt 95% white... that is not Los Angeles.
Jill Levoy does a fantastic job at explaining the history, context, and pain of gang life. She gives a background on some of the most known gangs, talks about turf wars, and the cops hoping to bring peace to a war-torn community. She also explains some of the factors that go into the gang violence for young black men. Levoy brings out stats about gang-violence, and how tough it is for a young man to escape this world.
I'd guess about half way through the book she introduced the true story of a cops son who was shot down in broad daylight by a young gangster on drugs. Bryant Tennelle was shot in the head and died shortly after. The young man had no gang ties and was hoping to graduate high school. His death is a tragic loss of life that doesn't need to happen.
The case was going cold when Detective John Skaggs was assigned to it. I'm not going to go into the details of the case, but highly encourage you to read this book. Then we need to ask ourselves, "Has God put me in a place to help someone?" Skaggs shook every tree, complied stories, and took the case to trial.
If you've read the book, what are your thoughts?