LA Gang Accused of Targeting Blacks

Ongoing violence between black and Latino gangs is taking a steep toll, even as overall murders in Los Angeles County drop.

In some cases, investigators say that members of a vicious Hispanic gang have opened fire on blacks residents solely because of their race. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca says some shootings by members of Florencia 13 were "purely motivated on killing a black person."

Police attribute 20 murders to the gang's rampage in the hardscrabble Florence-Firestone neighborhood. They haven't pinpointed how many were racially motivated.

Federal and local officials worked together to charge 102 men linked to F-13 with racketeering, conspiracy to murder, weapons possession and drug dealing.

In terms of people charged, it's the largest-ever federal case involving a Southern California gang. More than 80 of those indicted are in custody.

The violence goes both ways.

In one east side area, police say Hispanics are at risk of being shot by members of the Crips, a black gang.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-30-07 1703EST

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