In the days after 14-year-old Cheryl Green was gunned down, residents, activists and politicians took to the streets of Harbor Gateway, decrying the senseless, racially motivated slaying of a child and protesting the gang activity that long plagued the area.
But a different message quietly appeared on the sidewalk just a few feet from the driveway where Green died.
The message, in black spray paint, read "204ST NK."
The graffiti, a reference to a racial epithet and killing African Americans, was a brazen pronouncement of the vitriolic racial hatred of the 204th Street gang that resulted in the loss of two young, innocent lives, a prosecutor told jurors this week.
"All black people are their enemies," Deputy Dist. Atty. Gretchen Ford said in the murder trial of two Latino gang members. "Really innocent people could die for no reason other than the ridiculous ideas of this gang."
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