Price seeks to increase funds for explosion victims 

“The city has an obligation to these residents and I will ensure that the obligations continue to be met with compassion, care and urgency.”

— City Councilman Curren Price

By Ray Richardson

Contributing Writer

SOUTH LOS ANGELES – The City Council has approved an additional $2.2 million in funding to continue assisting residents who were displaced or suffered major property damage in 2021 when the Los Angeles Police Department attempted to detonate a large supply of fireworks on a South Los Angeles  street.

City Councilman Curren Price Jr. submitted a motion for the additional funding after many residents in his Ninth District affected by the blast are still unable to return to their homes because of ongoing construction and remodeling work.

Other residents living in the vicinity of the blast, which occurred June 30, 2021 on 27th Street near San Pedro Avenue, are waiting for new housing after their homes suffered too much damage to return.

“I want to be clear, my office has never abandoned these families in this time of crisis and we never will,” Price said to the City Council when submitting his motion. “Our district has inherited a tremendous tragedy. The city has an obligation to these residents and I will ensure that the obligations continue to be met with compassion, care and urgency.”

An original budget of $2.1 million was approved by the City Council after the blast to assist affected residents, but that funding is scheduled to expire at the end of June. The additional $2.2 million will be available through the end of 2023, if needed.

Approximately 80 people were displaced and 17 homes were damaged by the blast. A spokesperson for Price’s office said about 50 people are still living in the Level Hotel near downtown Los Angeles. The ultimate goal, according to the spokesperson, is to find permanent housing for displaced residents or help rebuild homes for residents to return.

Price’s motion, seconded by 10th District Councilwoman Heather Hutt, provides more resources to continue paying for hotel lodging, home repairs, moving and relocation costs, transportation and other essential needs. The additional funding also includes helping affected families with down payments and security costs for new housing.

Price’s staff has set up a Neighborhood Resource Center at Walker Temple AME Church to serve as a headquarters for residents to seek additional help and fill out paperwork.

“Since day one, my staff has led recovery efforts for our neighbors,” Price said. “My community needs ongoing support from the entire city family and our City Council.”

While the additional funding addresses immediate needs for affected residents, Price is asking for reports by mid-May from at least seven local agencies that responded to the crisis after the blast. LAPD is at the top of Price’s list.

LAPD officers and bomb technicians attempted to safely detonate explosives that were placed inside a Total Containment Vessel. The vehicle was parked on 27th Street when officers initiated the detonation.

An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms blamed “human error” for the incident, citing that officers miscalculated the weight of the explosives placed in the containment vessel. The explosion affected several properties away from 27th Street.

Price is seeking a report from LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore on the alleged mistake by officers and what steps are being taken to handle similar incidents in the future.

“We want to know what’s being done to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Price said. “We also want an overview of the assistance and outreach provided by LAPD to the impacted community.”

Other agencies asked to submit reports to the City Council include the Department of Building Safety, Department of City Planning, Department of Public Works, Los Angeles Housing Department, Community Investment for Families and the City Attorney’s Office.

Price indicated that the City Council wants an update from the City Attorney’s Office on the “litigation process” involving affected residents. Many residents have retained lawyers to pursue legal action against LAPD or the city.

Ray Richardson is a contributing writer for The Wave. He can be reached at