Car of Long Beach witness is attacked

Suspected gang members backed into and nearly totaled the car of a black woman who has been testifying for several days in the racially inflamed trial over assaults on white women in Long Beach. The Press-Telegram says the witness, who the paper has chosen not to identify because of retaliation fears, was leaving court yesterday when she got a call telling her of the damage. Her car was parked at home. The attack followed by a day her answers to a defense lawyer's questions about the make and description of her car. "It appears as though they're sending her another message," a police commander said. After her first day in court, "she awoke to find six men who appeared to be gang members sitting on her car waiting for her. She was able to call police, who have since escorted her every day that she has testified," the paper reported. The teenagers on trial in the juvenile court "adjudication" are African American and the assaults on the victims appear to have been racial.

Coverage in the Times, AP and other media has been identifying the 18-year-old witness as Kiana Alford.

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