Daniel Sharfstein

Daniel J. Sharfstein is a freelance writer who lives in Pasadena, California.

Recent Articles

Special Report: The Crime Debate

T he city of Inglewood, population 140,000, lies in the southwest corner of the Los Angeles sprawl. It has the features of almost every other L.A. suburb¬ólong commercial strips of burger shacks and auto body shops, low-rise neighborhoods of motel-style apartment complexes and tiny homes with tiny lawns. The city map is dominated by large open spaces. Hollywood Park racetrack and card casino attracts millions of visitors, as does the adjacent Great Western Forum, where the Lakers play home games. Just to the north is the 375-acre Inglewood Park cemetery. One of the city's main streets, Century Boulevard, is a straight shot west to LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport. Another, Crenshaw Boulevard, goes north through the heart of black L.A. At the intersection of these two roads is the Bottoms, a neighborhood of six blocks that has been the scene of almost 40 murders in the past decade. Thirty-five hundred people, mostly black and Latino, live in this claustrophobic network of two-...