With home prices and rents spiraling upward, many Echo Park gang members have been priced out of the neighborhood, forcing some Echo Park Locos to make weekend visits from their new neighborhoods, according to the L.A. Times. Gentrification in combination with other factors has noticeably reduced the activity of the Echo Park Locos, the neighborhood’s major gang.
One 31-year-old man with connections to the gang returns often to the neighborhood long after his family was evicted from their Echo Park Avenue apartment. Said the Times:
Eventually, the family settled into a place in Eagle Rock. It was bigger, but he says it was too quiet. No gunshots, helicopters or sirens. So he takes every opportunity he gets to head back to Echo Park. One weekend he drove in to watch the Mayweather-Canelo fight at his friend’s house. A couple Sundays later, the guys and their families gathered at Elysian Park for fish tacos and a chance to catch up. An old friend showed up and he gave him a handshake that turned into a hug.
“Nothing will ever feel like Echo Park did,” he said, smiling sadly. “Where you reach down and grab the dirt and you say, ‘Yeah, I’m solid. This is home.’ “
Police in the past have referred to visiting gang members as “commuter taggers.” Sgt. Victor Arellano told the Times that the Echo Park Locos have become “a weekend gang.”