Complaints About a Crackdown

Minorities charge that the Los Angeles police department's war on gangs has become a war on their communities

Lying facedown in the dirt -- the place where young men netted by the Los Angeles police department's vaunted antigang sweeps frequently wind up -- Javier Gonzalez, 18, watched in terror as an officer slammed Lewayne Williamson's head into the ground. "The cop asked if he was in a gang. Lewayne said no and was hit," Gonzalez recalls. "He said no again and was hit again. By the time they got to me, five or six people had already been whacked." Fearful of being beaten, Gonzalez blurted yes when asked if he was a gang member. Over the next two hours...