Los Angeles has its star maps, Starline Tours of actors' homes, even "The Real Black Dahlia" bus tour. Now our fine city has L.A. Gang Tours, a journey that promises "a true first-hand encounter of the history and origin of high profile gang areas and the top crime scene locations in South Central."
Talk about your better homies and gardens. Ex-gang-member Alfred Lomas states that he put together the tours as a way to find jobs for other reformed gang-bangers, to infuse money into the inner-city and to educate people about gang crime and possible solutions.
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The tours are designed to travel through areas where gang truces are in effect, according to Gang Tours website. "L.A. Gang Tours has predetermined routes and times that are honored by each of the participating and opposing gangs. Every effort has been made, from the time of day to departure locations, to ensure a safe, pleasant and enjoyable tour experience."
(We really think the tour bus should simulate a drive-by experience and arm passengers with toy Mac-10s. Maybe participants could paint on a wall to get that genuine, aerosol experience. Or, perhaps a Los Angeles Police Department gang stop is in order: Tour customers could be lined up against a wall, on their knees, feet crossed, hands on their heads. ... Just kideen).
The tour boasts that it will hit the following locations when it launches next month: L.A. County Jail (the website boasts that, among its onetime inmates, is "recording artist Rick James ... well known for his 70's top ten hit 'Super Freak'"); the Los Angeles River bed; the Metropolitan Detention Center; Skid Row (made famous, it states, by "the movie The Soloist, starring Oscar-nominated actors Robert Downy Jr. [sic] and Jamie Foxx"); Florencia 13 gang turf; Black Panther Party stomping grounds, and the Jordan Downs housing projects.
[Spotted at CityWatch].