A Little History
Cruising became an important part of the lowrider experience, and low riders saw Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles as the “cruising theme park”. Whittier was a place were you could go eat, cruise, and even pick up ion girls. It was more like a fun thing to do when you had free time. According to Jesse “Whittier Boulevard was like a car show of itself” (Interview, March 15, 2008). Robert Rodriguez stated that the sheriffs could close Whittier Boulevard in 1979, but they could not stop the low riding. History proved him right. In fact they did close the boulevard, but low riding did not stop, in fact it spread far and wide. By the boulevard being closed it inspired people such as little Willie G to write a song and by the 1970s a movie called Boulevard Nights came out. Sheriffs thought that by closing the boulevard gang violence would stop. They thought that by stopping the violence they would stop the cruise (Penland, pg. 65). What they really wanted to show was that they were tough on gangs and that closing the boulevard was the right thing to do. After that gang violence increased dramatically due to the closure of Whittier Boulevard. Not just in East Los Angeles, but throughout the whole east side, country, and state. This is one side of the story the other side was that people did not see is police brutality. Of course there are troublemakers everywhere, but to sheriffs, we were all suspects or troublemakers, and by being a suspect it meant not having any human rights.