The Conservative Vice Lords and the police mixed it
up again yesterday on the west side.
But instead of trading blows with knives and night sticks, they
talked over coffee about what the Lords, a street gang, is doing
to improve its image.
The occasion was a tour-for police only-of the businesses the Lords
have established in the last two three years. They include the Teen
Town snack shop at 3700 16th st.; The Lords’ headquarters
at 3720 16th st.; a recreation center for teens at 3724 16th st.;
and the Art and Soul art gallery at 3742 16th st.
Clothing Store Planned
There is also an about-to-be-opened clothing store, The African
Lion, at 3702 16th st.
The businesses are established and run by the Lords, who are aided
by grants from individuals and groups like Operation Bootstrap and
The Rockefeller Foundation. The foundation gave them $15,000.
“Lots of time the police peer into the windows or sneak around
back to find out what’s going on,” said Malvin Cupid,
21, a spokesman. “We want them to know we’re not hiding
anything. They’re welcome to come in any time.”
Lead Cops Invited
The Lords sent invitations to the open house to George Sims, commander
of the Fillmore district; William McCann, commander of the Marquette
district; and Lt. Edward Buckney, head of the gang intelligence
Richard Jalovec, head of the special prosecution unit of the state’s
attorney’s office, which includes gang activities, attended
and said the Lords’ business operations were “a tremendous
thing. I really didn’t know what I was coming to. I figured
there’d be nothing more than a shoe shine parlor.”
The Lords’ operations, which include job and housing referrals,
are available to anyone in the Lawndale area.
The Art and Soul gallery is sponsoring an all-media art contest
now thru March 15.