For $65 you can take a bus tour of the gritty streets home to Los Angeles' gangs. You get lunch too. Former gang member, Alfred Lomas, says he has the promise of the gangs not to
shoot at harass the bus as it makes it way through the areas of some infamous gangland activity. While Chicago has a tour of Al Capone's operations, and Las Vegas has tours of past Mafia crime areas, both are in the past, while gangland is still percolating.
The first bus sold out quickly. Here's what you get in a two-hour tour in the gang capital of the world, and four or five gang members on the bus to keep the curious passengers safe:
...a 12-stop, two-hour journey through what its organizer calls “the history and origin of high-profile gang areas and the top crime-scene locations” of South Los Angeles.You sign away your safety, before boarding the motor coach...but the gangs have promised Lomas they will behave:
On the right, Los Angeles’s biggest jail, “the unofficial home to 20,000 gang members in L.A.,” as the tour Web site puts it. Over there, the police station that in 1965 served as the National Guard’s command post in the Watts riots. Visit the large swath of concrete riverbed taken over by graffiti taggers, and later, drop in at a graffiti workshop where, for the right price, a souvenir T-shirt or painting can be yours.
And after careful consideration, it was decided not to have residents shoot water guns at the bus and sell “I Got Shot in South Central” T-shirts.Lomas is hoping to make enough money that he can fund small loans designed to help provide jobs to gang members. Lomas seems to be well thought of and since moving out of gang culture, has devoted his life to helping others. On a daily basis, he drives a food truck for the needy, supported by the Dream Center, a Christian-based social service center.