Published: December 1, 2011
By: Jeff Benedict
For the past three months I've been working on one of the best stories of my career. It appears in Sports Illustrated today and is called "Straight Outta Compton." It's about a boy, his parents, and their quest to make it out of one of the most gang-infested areas in America.
To report this story, I worked with an amazing team — Armen Keteyian, chief of the investigative unit at CBS Evening News; Pulitzer Prize-winning, freelance photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice; and my exceptional editor B.J. Schecter.
Compton is the birthplace of the Bloods, the Crips and gangsta rap. I spent a lot of time there on this project. Along with Keteyian, I got a crash course on gangs and the streets they occupy, courtesy of Sgt. Brandon Dean, the head of the gang unit for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. Dean, 34, drove us all over town, showing us where gangs reside, how they mark territory, and the wreckage they leave behind.