Allegations made by grieving father anger residents
The complex at 124 N. Hillcrest Blvd. in Inglewood has been the center of the media frenzy since last week’s murder of resident Kevin Wicks. Although reports differ about what actually happened that fateful Tuesday morning, residents of the usually quiet neighborhood are speaking up after comments suggested that the neighborhood was not safe.
“It’s a very good neighborhood,” stated Annette Whitson, 56, a teacher in the Hawthorne School District who lives in the apartment complex next door. “I’ve lived here for five-and-a-half years. A lot of seniors and career people work here. If it wasn’t [safe], I wouldn’t be here, “ she firmly added.
Whitson and several other residents are responding to allegations made by Wicks’ father and the media that the neighborhood’s violence is what ultimately led to his son’s death.
“There are beautiful flowers, trees, clear houses, and just a peaceful neighborhood. The landlord takes care of the complex and the people are very friendly. I don’t know why [Wicks’] father said it’s a bad neighborhood,” said Whitson.
Residents described the small-knit Hillcrest community as a “family” where neighbors waved at one another in the morning, exercised around the street corners and genuinely took an interest in one another. The neighborhood houses mostly senior residents and is the backdrop for million dollar homes right down the street. 12-year resident Tony Williams lived in Wicks’ complex and said, “We’ve never had problems over here before.”
Landlords of the adjacent apartment complex, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, real estate agents and residents who lived in Hillcrest for over thirty years blatantly disregard the “erroneous statements” made about their neighborhood.
“The information is all skewed. I hate that he was killed, [referring to Wicks]. He had been with the post office for some time and he made no problems. He was legitimate, but all of this is ridiculous. We’ve never had a situation [like this]. A few months ago, there was a domestic dispute, the cops came out and the owner got rid of them after that,” said Mr. Smith, who declined to give a first name.
He went on to say, “This is the best neighborhood in the city. Our own people will stereotype neighborhoods, but this is an elderly community with a low density of apartments. This is a good neighborhood”.
A town hall meeting has been organized for August 6th to discuss the recent shooting incidents involving law enforcement officials and Los Angeles residents.
The owner of 124 N. Hillcrest Blvd. declined to comment on the situation.