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Alfred Lomas

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Alfred Lomas[edit]

Alfred Lomas (born April 14, 1964) is a former Florencia 13 gang member turned entrepreneur and humanitarian. He is the founder of LA Gang Tours and Inner City Visions, a non-profit organization in South Central Los Angeles.[1] His life has been written about by investigative journalist Joe Domanick and captured in the documentary License to Operate.

Early Life[edit]

Lomas is a fourth-generation Tejano born in San Antonio, Texas into a family of alcoholics and criminals.[2] The family moved to the Maravilla housing project in East LA when he was one year old, and later to Huntington Park, California, when Lomas was five. His mother supported the family by cleaning houses while his father remained at home. He became a member of Florencia 13 when he was 12 years old. Lomas spent three years in the Marines, following which he returned and became a counter-surveillance specialist for the gangs.[3]

Gang Involvement[edit]

In 1976, Lomas was invited to join Florencia 13 by older gangsters in a next door apartment unit in Huntington Park.[2] When he was 18 he joined the Marine Corps, getting assigned to specialized infantry units. He was unable to stay out of trouble, however, getting an other than honorable discharge after drinking, brawling, and threatening two commanding officers during assignments in Scotland and the Philippines. After an incarceration in a federal brig in North Carolina, Lomas went back to South Los Angeles.[2]

Lomas became the hired muscle for a Florencia 13 crack dealer in the Newton area of South Central LA. He planned routes and made drug runs to finance his own addiction. Lomas eventually expanded to managing drug-trade security for three or four other dealers in the area, often using his military skills to run counter-surveillance against the FBI and LAPD.[4] He was responsible for protecting the gang leaders who were the cause of much of the violence in the area.

Lomas was arrested in 1988 and spent 16 months in Susanville, California's state penitentiary. His son was born while he was serving six months in county jail in 1993, leading Lomas to sober up. He got a job as a salesman with environmental company Safety Clean and moved out of the hood.[2]

Intervention, Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Work[edit]

After another arrest in 2005, Lomas met members of the Dream Center ministry near Echo Park, west of downtown Los Angeles. He was enrolled in an in-house drug treatment program and soon began working for the Dream Center's food distribution program.

In 2007, Lomas was asked by LAPD captain Mark Olvera to help diffuse a potentially dangerous situation between Mexican residents in the Pueblo del Rio housing projects and a black Bloods gang. Lomas' peacekeeping success led him to a new focus on community intervention.[3] Lomas went on to graduate from the Urban Peace Academy in 2010, an organization founded by Constance "Connie" Rice, a prominent civil rights activist and lawyer.

Lomas started LA Gang Tours in November, 2009.[5] It was a 12-stop, 2-hour bus ride through gang territory and historical crime scene locations with former gang members as tour guides.[6] Lomas got a safe passage agreement from four gangs in the area, Florencia 13, South Side 18, Grape Street and East Coast Crips.[7] The $65 admittance fee went towards building the toured community.[8] Tourists understanding how the gangs operated and finding solutions to gang-vulnerable areas were Lomas' vision for the tours.[4] The venture garnered mixed reactions, with some calling the tour exploitative[8] and others, such as former Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone, praising Lomas for serving and giving back to the community. [6] Lomas and LA Gang Tours were featured in License to Operate, a documentary released by Omelet in 2016[9] which featured Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

In 2007, Lomas started Inner City Visions, a 501(c)i3 non-profit organization in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of Los Angeles, dedicated to intervention, prevention and youth development.[10] He serves as Executive Director and CEO of the organization, which has partnerships with Inspire Charter Schools, U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, and People Against Trafficking Humans (PATH). Lomas has pioneered several initiatives in the community through Inner City Visions, such as “Parks After Dark”[11] and the “Safe Route to School” program. These initiatives are part of Inner City Visions’ logic model—a scalable framework that Lomas is using to create system-wide change through day programming, mental health services and community engagement.

References[edit]

  1. "The team | Inner City Visions". Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Domanick, Joe (2015). Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 74–75, 125–130. ISBN 978-1-4516-4107-3. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Gang interventionists distribute food, prayer -- and a sense of change". Los Angeles Times. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Barnett, Matthew (2011). The Cause Within You: Finding the One Great Thing God Created You Were Created to Do in This World. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4143-4846-9. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. "Tour of the hood". Traveller. 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Archibold, Randal C. (2010-01-15). "A Gangland Bus Tour, With Lunch and a Waiver". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  7. "A closer look at 'L.A. Gang Tours' | Angelus News". 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Los Angeles Gang Tour Puts A Twist On Drive-Bys". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  9. "Ex-Gang Members Work With City Officials To Rebuild LA Communities". 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  10. "Inner City Visions". Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  11. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/parksafterdark.pdf

External Links[edit]

Joe Domanick

License to Operate

Inspire Charter Schools

U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking

Safe Route to School


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