HomeNewsLocalThree Years Later Families Impacted by LAPD Fireworks Explosion Demand Aid

Three Years Later Families Impacted by LAPD Fireworks Explosion Demand Aid

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The City Council is expected Tuesday to consider a settlement with individuals impacted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s botched fireworks disposal in South Los Angeles.

The settlement would covering about 90% of the individuals from the neighborhood staying at the Level Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Checks are expected to be issued and the families will have up to 90 days to find alternative housing with the goal of a “smooth transition” out of the hotel, Angelina Valencia, Councilman Curren Price’s communications director, told City News Service.

Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

“The councilman is committed to treating these victims with respect and dignity, and he has supported them every step of the way,” Valencia said in a statement.

An LAPD bomb squad botched the detonation of fireworks on June 30, 2021, resulting in a blast that injured 17 people, damaged 35 properties and displaced more than 80 residents. City Controller Kenneth Mejia reported in November 2023 that the explosion had cost the city $9.5 million. Another $1.7 million had been committed but unspent, according to the report at the time.

In a news conference Monday, some of the families displaced by the explosion shared their uncertainty about ever returning to their homes.

The families with the help of Ron Gochez, a community organizer with Unión del Barrio who has helped organize residents, gathered Monday on the 700 block of East 27th Street, one block east of San Pedro Street, one day after the third anniversary of the explosion to call on Mayor Karen Bass and Price to give them more help in returning to their homes.

Some of the families expressed their concerns about possibly getting evicted from their temporary housing at the Level Hotel.

City officials have not informed the hotel of any eviction plans, Valencia said.

“A settlement agreement is currently under consideration by the council, which includes provisions allowing individuals adequate time to transition from the hotel,” Price, whose 9th District includes the affected area, said in a statement.

“We understand the importance of allowing people to return to their homes and resume their normal lives, and I am committed to facilitating this process with the utmost care.”

Bass and Price have met with some of the families and discussed ways the city can support them.

Adrian Alvarez, community activist and member of Unión del Barrio, said the settlement terms have not been shared with the public. Some of the families are hopeful, but remain skeptical about what the settlement may provide, he added.

“The honest truth is that if it wasn’t for the residents organizing and resisting the system nothing would have been done,” Alvarez said. “In every step of the way, we had to protest and push and demand for the minimum amount of help for something that they didn’t have anything to do with.”

Alvarez said these individuals are homeowners and deserve justice for the emotional and financial damages the LAPD caused them. Many of these families are immigrants or are low-income, working hard and struggled decades to save and buy homes, he added.

According to Union del Barrio, the full extent of the damage is difficult to quantify because these families lost holidays, time together, a sense of security and much more.

“The main demand has just been for the city to be responsible for damage they caused,” Alvarez said. “They deserve the just amount to be able to go back to the live they were living prior to the negligence by LAPD.”

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