Seal Beach City Councilman Gordon A. Shanks shanked one, saying at a memorial service for hair salon massacre victims, “These things are not supposed to happen here. Maybe in Compton.” Since then, the 76-year-old has acknowledged that his remark was out of place and “not nice.” That was not enough for Shanks to avoid the wrath of the Compton-based National Association for Equal Justice in America.
“The city of Compton is a community of wonderful people who must deal with very harsh realities of life that most in your city could not imagine,” writes Royce W. Esters, the nonprofit organization's president. “Not once in this city's history has anyone for any reason ever murdered eight people in a single act of violence.”
Esters formed the association in 1997 “to eliminate racial
discrimination and segregation, seek justice, education and
opportunities for all minorities.”
Compton had 24 homicides in 2010, the Los Angeles Times notes, while Seal Beach had one in the past five years before the Oct. 12 rampage.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.