In 2014, Big Hazard street gang firebombed innocent Black families in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in a racially motivated attack. On Tuesday, Jose Saucedo was convicted for the crime and charged with 13 years in federal prison for a number of related felonies, the L.A. Times reported.
The hit came on Mother’s Day 2014. That evening a local gang broke the windows of four apartments and lit those apartments on fire using bottles filled with a gasoline. They set the units on fire in an attempt to push Black families out of the neighborhood, according to the L.A. Times.
The racially motivated crime is one of the latest developments in a violent history between Latino gang members and Black families in the Ramona Gardens housing projects. Luckily, no one was injured, L.A. Times reported.
According to the report, the unprovoked street gang, Big Hazard, had plans to attack the innocent families in the area in part because it had claimed the housing project as its territory. Saucedo was one of seven people who plead guilty to the hate crime and was the first person to be charged.
L.A. Times reported that Saucedo was responsible for coordinating many of the logistics that went into executing the crime. After the incident, he continued to threaten families if they did not move out.
“It was a miracle that no one was injured in these racially motivated attacks,” said United States Attorney Nicola Hanna in a statement last year. “These defendants have admitted their goal was to drive African Americans out of this housing facility. This simply will not be tolerated.”
In a later statement obtained by the L.A. Times, Hanna went on to say that this sentencing is proof that criminal acts fueled by racial hatred will not be tolerated any longer.