Congratulations FREE LA High School Graduating Class of 2014 who walked the stage on Saturday, June 21st. This slide show has three parts that graduates' families and friends saw at the ceremony - 1. The history of suppression and incarceration in LA that the students are working to change; 2. The young people who should have been at graduation who have been killed due to street or police violence; and 3. Photos of the graduates!!!
In 2007, the YJC established FREE LA High School for youth ages 16 to 24 who have been pushed out of school, have disappeared from school districts, and/or who are returning home from juvenile halls, Probation camps, county jail or prison. (System-involved youth are often blocked from returning to school or even to entire school districts because of extreme school discipline policies or court convictions. This discrimination is often carried out illegally, and the YJC is also working to change laws and policies that prevent youth from attending school.)
FREE LA stands for Fight for the Revolution to Educate and Empower Los Angeles. The school supports youth to earn their high school diploma and also trains students in youth and community organizing, social change strategies, movement building and transformative justice.
There are now 0 youth prisoners in other countries .
2014 Youth Justice Coalition FREE LA High School Graduation
1. OUT OF L.A. CAME THE BUILDERS OF SCHOOL DE-FUNDING AND MASS INCARCERATION
U.S. POLICIES THAT COME OUT OF L.A.:
Nixon’s Law and Order backlash after
60s movements leads to mass incarceration
of poor people and people of color. The prison
population increases 300% in 20 years. Cali and L.A.
lead the world in incarceration and harsh sentencing,
including creation of JLWOP, Three Strikes, Prop 21
and Prop 9 - all are written and financed from L.A..
Reaganomics including anti-tax movement and Prop
13., the “war on drugs” and war on welfare, and mental
health de-institutionalization without community
services, all lead to massive increase in homelessness.
L.A. creates “planned Skid Row” to force homeless
into downtown isolation.
U.S. fuels wars against rebellions in Central America.
In the 1980s, LAPD and Sheriffs work with U.S. military
to teach counter-guerilla tactics, interrogation and
torture against civilians. In the 90s and 00s, they
return to teach gang suppression when people are
deported - (the greatest number from L.A.)
Chief Parker introduces military-style policing and
brings National Guard into Watts in ‘65. Gates takes
militarization further by creating SWAT and CRASH
(first gang units).’92 Uprising once again reflects L.A.’s
anger over entrenched police brutality. Gates also
2007 - Jordan Downs is first community in the U.S. to
get GPS surveillance system. L.A. , Riverside
first to use GPS monitoring to track people with
gang convictions returning home from prison.
1848 California and the Southwest is annexed into U.S. through
illegal war against Mexico. The Thirteenth Amendment to
Constitution outlaws slavery except “as a punishment for crime.”
So-called “Indian Wars” force remaining sovereign nations onto
Is the only region west of Texas to side with the Confederacy.
Gains reputation as nation’s most violent city with one murder
per day by 1870. The homicide rate between 1847
and 1870 averaged 158 per 100,000, which was
10 to 20 times the annual murder rates for New
York City during the same period. If we had the
same homicide rate today, we’d have 600,000
murders a year. French send troops to protect their
By 1871, half of businesses are gambling halls, saloons or
houses of prostitution, most with political or law enforcement
ownership or involvement. Corruption is the norm in L.A.’s police
force until the Parker administration of the 1960s. The Marshall’s
Office is funded by enslavement of indigenous population.
L.A.’s first jail is established (chain and a log.)
L.A.’S WAR ON GANGS
STARTS IN 1848:
L.A. has the highest lynching rate of any region in the country. the victims are largely Californios - now seen
since the war as Mexicans struggling to reclaim land and livestock taken through the war. First use of gang
profiling – “bandido/bandit” – to criminalize groups. Los Angeles had several active Vigilance Committees
during that era. Between 1850 and 1870, mobs carried out approximately 35 lynchings of Mexicans—more
than four times the number that occurred in San Francisco. Los Angeles was described as "undoubtedly the
toughest town of the entire nation.
1871 – Chinese Massacre is L.A.’s first of many “riots,” all of which are led by law enforcement or happen in
response to police brutality. A shootout between Tong factions leads to the death of a popular white
chicken rancher. A mob of 200-500 Whites and Latinos led by local government and law enforcement leads
to the lynching of 19 Chinese men and the burning down of Chinatown. Vigilante mobs and state sanctioned
murder typifies L.A.’s “justice” system throughout 1800s and early 1900s.
1881 - The L.A. Times is founded by Otis Harrison, and both he and the paper are a leading voice
in L.A..’s power structure which establishes L.A. as nearly all-white and union free by 1900.
Los Angeles County built the nation’s first comprehensive gang suppression policies:
 Gang injunctions - first in 1983,
the ability to lock down a
neighborhood and arrest people if they are
on the street with another alleged gang
member, out past a curfew, or carrying a cell phone.
 Gang databases in 1987 -
computerized lists that label
people as “gang members”
without their knowledge, without
any chance to appeal, and without a
clear way to get off.
(3) The statewide STEP Act in 1988 that provided the nation’s first law targeting street
gangs, first gang definition, first language referring to gang members as “terrorists,”
first gang enhancements in court, and took database statewide [Cal Gangs Database].
 In 1985, L.A. established CLEAR I[Community Law Enforcement and Recovery].
PRESIDENT REAGAN APPOINTS
WILLIAM BENNET AS U.S.
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION.
policies include requirements for
suspension, expulsion and arrests; the
takeover of school discipline by police
departments; and relationships in
schools replaced by metal detectors,
locker searches, drug-sniffing dogs,
and security gates.
take over school
2. More Probation
3. Schools look
and run like
have the same
4. Searches, metal
5. Leads to
out and arrest
The largest numbers of
youth contacts with the
police and Probation are for:
(1) Tickets that can turn into arrest
warrants or holds on Drivers’
licenses when families can’t afford
to pay them. The #1 “crime” fare
evasion - riding train or bus without
(2) Curfew Violations
(3) Routine stop and frisks, gang
database adds on the street.
(4) Graffiti related tickets and
arrests including minor acts such
as posting slap tags, tiny throw ups,
carrying a marker, or having a
graffiti-covered back pack,
(5) Small possession of weed or
alcohol for individual use.
(6) Minor Probation violations -
such as missing school or arguing
with family - can get youth lock-
down placement or camp time.
4. L.A. FED CALIFORNIA’S AND THE NATION’S ADDICTION TO INCARCERATION
IN THE EARLY 80s, CALIFORNIA
STARTS TO RAPIDLY EXPAND THE
BUILDING OF PRISONS AND CUT
THE BUDGET TO EVERYTHING
ELSE. AT THE TIME, WE ALREADY
HAD 12 PRISONS.
DURING THE SAME TIME,
CALIFORNIA BUILDS ONE
UC AND TWO CAL STATE
Intervention Savings: Each Murder Costs $1 Million to Investigate and 17
Million More in Jail, Court and Incarceration costs. With drastic decreases
in homicide, shouldn’t the saved money be reinvestment in our schools
1%of L.A.’s Courts,
Probation’s and City
would pay for: 500 full-
time gang intervention
workers; 50 youth
centers open from 3pm -
midnight, 365 days a
year; and 25,000 youth
47 young people connected to the
YJC were killed (between August
2009 and June 2014) - victims of
street or police violence. Five
youth were killed in the spring of
SOME OF THE PEOPLE KILLED FROM AUGUST 2009 AND JUNE 2014
Ivon Bryant, killed by a hit and run
driver as he crossed the street on
Centinela a few blocks from Chuco’s.
Brandy Brown’s brother, Fenton Brown Jr. -- known to his friends as “Man” --
was shot and killed. He was 19.
Michael Moore, 20, was shot several times while talking to a friend
outside his home on Chester Avenue in Inglewood.
Edwin Joseph Cobbin, 17, was killed in Hawthorne on Cordary and 134th on
June 8, 2009. He was shot three times. His friends, including Damien Parker,
heard the shots and saw their friend die. Edwin was Damien’s “homeboy and
a best friend” since elementary school.
Jeremy Burrell was shot and killed on Victoria a few blocks north of Chuco’s. He was on
track to graduate from FREE L.A. High School. His son was born a few months later.
Joshua Jackson killed himself after being
bullied at his school and online.
Christopher Moreland, shot and killed a few blocks
from his mother’s house in Inglewood.
Dante Willis, shot and killed in front of his uncle’s house just a few
blocks west of Chuco’s on May 8, 2010.
Veronica Martinez’ cousin Alex “Dopey” Guzman was shot and killed in front of his house on 118th and Main in
South Central on April 1, 2010. Had the ambulance not taken so long to arrive, he might have survived.
On April 15, 2010, Tina Sanchez was found shot in the face and wrapped in a sleeping bag on
Crenshaw Blvd. and 73rd Street a few blocks from Chuco’s. She was known as a kind neighbor
to the youth.
On July 18th, 2010, Javier Sanchez, 15 was shot and killed walking home from a party
just a few blocks from his home directly behind Chuco’s. Hearing the shots, his
friends ran and found him bleeding to death on the sidewalk. He was a childhood
friend to several youth at the YJC.
Luis De Paz, 20 was shot and killed in front of his home on 71st Street and
Victoria on July 20th, 2010. He was a friend and brother to many youth at the
D-Money, Semaj, Digums and Lil’ Kidd2 were all killed in the blocks across
the street from Chuco’s.
“From all those who have fallen and gotten our wings,
it’s so great that all of you are graduating, because so
many of us didn’t make it. You are facing a lot of
obstacles. Take this accomplishment as the gateway
to the rest of your life. Don’t ever take life for granted.”
On August 14th, 2010, Rene Guardado, 21 was leaving a party with two of today’s
graduates - Luis Falcon and Sergio Hill on 66th Street near Crenshaw. A car rolled
up, banged on them and shot. Rene died on the sidewalk a few steps away from his
Montae “M-Bone” Talbert, 22, was shot and killed on May 15, 2011 in Inglewood. He was
known by many in the YJC. Cali Swag District shot his tribute video at Chuco’s.
Corey Wiley, 23, was shot Sunday, July 31, on Doty Avenue in Hawthorne.
Sylvester Tellez, 28, was a founder of the YJC. He was in the morgue for two weeks before his
family found him. He used hard drugs for more than 18 years in CYA - the state’s youth prison
system, inside state prisons and jails, and the streets of L.A. before overdosing.
YJC student Lynnard Baker, 17 was shot and killed in Baldwin Hills. His organs saved four people.
Jeshai Jones, a student at the YJC, and two of her sisters were killed in a car accident in
South Central L.A. All together, they left behind five children.
YJC student Cris Carter, 17, was shot and killed on Century and Van Ness.
His organs saved five people.
Former YJC student, Jackie Castillo, 20, was hit and killed by the Metro Blue Line in Watts -
the nation’s most deadly train line.
Luis Reynoso - a YJC student - lost his brother, Jesse Reynoso, who shot and killed himself
in South Central L.A. in front of his girlfriend on March 21, 2014 at the age of 18.
Ivan Santos was a childhood friend to two YJC students. On March 25, 2014 at the age of 20,
he was shot and killed near Hyde Park and La Brea in Inglewood.
Joey Camargo - a 2014 graduate of the YJC’s FREE LA High School - lost his brother, Samuel Guzman,
20, who was shot and killed on April 8, 2014, on 107th Street and San Pedro in South Central LA.
Ana Ortiz, 19 - a student at the YJC’s FREE LA High School - was shot and killed on the street outside
her aunt’s and uncle’s home on Brynhurst near 63rd Street in South Central L.A. on April 30, 2014
Ronnie Dunmore - a student at the YJC’s FREE LA High School - lost his cousin, Ti’Juan Folks, who
was shot and killed on June 2, 2014, on 98th Street near Broadway in South Central LA.
Several young people were killed by the police. More than 300 people have been killed by
the police in L.A. County since 2007. Several police departments in
L.A. lead the nation in police shootings.
A Sheriff killed Woodrow Player on Imperial Highway.
He was shot in the back while running away. He was unarmed.
An Inglewood Policeman killed Marcus Smith as he walked down the stairs from a party. He
was unarmed. The federal government is investigating Inglewood P.D., because they lead the
nation in the killing of civilians.
Marcus Smith’s Nephew
The Sheriffs killed Darrick Collins at his home. They claimed that they saw Darrick go for a gun in his
waistband. But the investigation revealed that the officer shot him through a wooden gate over 6’ high,
that the officer had no ability to see Darrick, and that Darrick was unarmed.
Oscar Grant was shot in the back by Bay Area Transit Police while laying face down, handcuffed on a
train platform. The BART police officer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and spent 4 months
in jail + Probation. The officer claimed he was reaching for his taser when he “accidentally” shot Oscar.
Oscar’s family and the Coalition in Support of Oscar Grant both made Chuco’s their base of operation for
On October 7, 2010, James Davis III, 18, was was shot in the back and killed by LAPD officers
in Imperial Courts housing development in Watts. He was a childhood friend of many at the YJC.
On October 10, 2010, Johnathan Cuevas was shot and killed by the L.A. County Sheriffs.
He was also a childhood friend of many at the YJC. He was unarmed.
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 De’Angelo Lopez, 22, was shot and killed by Los Angeles County Deputy
Sheriffs in Compton. He was the father of a four-year-old son.
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