LOS ANGELES (KERO) — It has been almost a year and a half since the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) botched the detonation of illegal fireworks in a South Los Angeles neighborhood.
The explosion injured 17 people and destroyed 30 houses. Some houses remain boarded up and streets are still blocked off.
27-year-old Arturo Ceja was sentenced to less than half a year in prison after he pleaded guilty to the unlicensed transport of explosives. He was not fined and will pay no restitution, however, he will serve two years on probation.
Ron Gochez, a community advocate, said that he thinks LAPD is even more at fault.
"I mean there's water pressure in the piping but if I'm the plumber and I cause an explosion who is at fault the water or the plumber?" asked Gochez. "In this situation, the LAPD, these people are experts. The bomb squad, they're experts at this and they made a calculated decision to blow this thing up in the middle of a neighborhood that has thousands of people living in it and I blame them."
The city has spent millions of dollars on home renovations, sidewalk repairs, and relocation and compensation for affected families.
Meanwhile, police have updated their protocols for disposing of explosives. They also asked the maker of the containment vehicle to clarify its capacity guidelines.