Rough justice, no peace

In Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Spiegel & Grau, $28), L.A. Times reporter Jill Leovy reports on the murder of 18-year-old Bryant Tennelle in South Central. She shadows the detectives working the case, but during the course of her reporting, leads her readers to understand that it is the lack of effective law enforcement and justice in the black community that leads to the “black-on-black crime” that is often waved as evidence that African-Americans are more violent. Leovy makes the case that, instead, it is the very lack of equal justice in these neighborhoods that leads to the “rough justice” meted out by gang members. Insightful and troubling, Ghettoside is also crime reporting at its best.