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  • Los Angeles- cracking down on gangs.

    Los Angeles Police Crack Down on Gangs


    Updated: January 22nd, 2007 04:14 PM EDT


    E-mail Story Print Story Most Read Most Emailed


    By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ
    Associated Press Writer


    A 14-year-old girl was killed by Hispanic gang members who police say were targeting blacks. A 9-year-old girl died after being hit by a stray bullet as gang members exchanged shots near her home. A cop was wounded in a gunbattle with a suspected gangster.

    The soaring violence is prompting police and politicians to promise one of the toughest crackdowns against gangs in city history.

    "This is the monster, this is what drives people's fears," said Deputy Chief Charles Beck, who oversees a South Los Angeles district where gang-related crime jumped 24 percent during the year ending in November.

    However, the effort has met skepticism in the city that has an estimated 700 gangs with 40,000 members - about four for every police officer - and that gave birth to some of the nation's most notorious gangs, including the Crips, Bloods and Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

    "It's too big, it's too entrenched, it's too intimately connected with the urban setup here," Malcolm Klein, a gang expert at the University of Southern California, said of the gang problem. "You can reduce it. But the idea you can somehow eliminate it is ridiculous."

    Gangs have thrived for generations in Los Angeles, but the especially violent past year caught police brass off guard. Citywide crime rates fell in 2006 but gang-related offenses increased 14 percent - the first hike in four years. In the San Fernando Valley, gang murders, assaults, robberies and other crimes jumped 42 percent.

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has appealed to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for millions of dollars in anti-gang funds and for more federal prosecutors to pursue racketeering and other charges mostly used in the past against organized crime.

    FBI Director Robert Mueller has assigned agents to an anti-gang task force in the San Fernando Valley to work alongside police deputized as federal officers.

    Authorities promise to increase enforcement in afflicted neighborhoods. The officers will be armed with injunctions forbidding gang members from assembling in certain areas, lawsuits aimed at shutting down gang hangouts as nuisances and probation orders barring gang members from returning to their neighborhoods after their release from prison.

    In some ways, the approach mirrors a multi-agency Boston campaign in the 1990s, known as the Boston Miracle, that resulted in a dramatic decline in gun violence and murder rates.

    Past efforts in Los Angeles, however, have produced mixed results.

    "We've seen this movie before," said Mario Corona, a former member of the Pacoima Criminals gang in the San Fernando Valley who now works to rehabilitate gang members.

    The city has been hampered in the past by a lack of resources and changing department priorities, according to a city-funded report by civil rights attorney Connie Rice.

    And a 1980s anti-gang unit known as Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums, or CRASH, was disbanded after allegations of police corruption. Few of the thousands of suspected gang members in South Los Angeles were ever charged.

    Residents are demanding renewed action while trying to stay out of the line of fire.

    Esteban Martinez, 41, hears gunshots at night in the San Fernando Valley, where he lives with his wife and four small children.

    "Everybody is afraid, but they don't speak (to police) because they are afraid to get into trouble with the gang members," Martinez said. "I'm worried about my family."

    Two weeks ago, an officer searching a house in the area for wanted gang members was wounded in the leg when a gang-banger fired through a closed bedroom door.

    Nothing has outraged the city more than the gang slayings of children. Last month, 9-year-old Charupha Wongwisetsiri was standing in her family's kitchen when she was struck by a stray round from gang crossfire in Angelino Heights near downtown.

    That came just five days after the shooting death of Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old black girl, who was talking to friends in the Harbor Gateway area. Two Hispanic gang members, who police said were intent on killing blacks, were arrested.

    Alex Sanchez, a former MS-13 member who now runs a gang intervention program, said police moves to identify the worst gangs could instead lead to more crime.

    "It's feeding the egos of gang members," Sanchez said. "They're all going to want to be on the top 10."

    Others said nothing will change without more jobs and better education.

    "Until we get those gangsters into real jobs, we are going to have a lethal ongoing problem, pure and simple," said Jorja Leap, a social welfare professor and gang expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, who advises the mayor. "It will never change."




    What do you guys think? The whole gang thing intrigues me, not real sure why. What do you guys think is the most successful way to deal with gangs? I caught a small piece on tv the other day about CRASH, which said it had A LOT of success, but obviously the cops had a strong arm then. Seems like now Los Angeles is way too PC and scared to step on toes that being real aggressive may not happen.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Matto
    I caught a small piece on tv the other day about CRASH, which said it had A LOT of success, but obviously the cops had a strong arm then.
    I had the good fortune of working CPD's Street Crime Suppression Unit (SCSU) back in the eighties. I also got a chance to work with some South Bureau CRASH guys.

    I could ramble on for hours, but the bottom line is, strong arm tactics didn't work. It didn't work back then, it doesn't work today. I doubt if it will ever work.

    The social welfare professor/gang expert is right, it will never change, nor will it ever be eliminated
    "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
    ______________________


    ComptonPOLICEGANGS.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by exComptonCop
      I had the good fortune of working CPD's Street Crime Suppression Unit (SCSU) back in the eighties. I also got a chance to work with some South Bureau CRASH guys.

      I could ramble on for hours, but the bottom line is, strong arm tactics didn't work. It didn't work back then, it doesn't work today. I doubt if it will ever work.

      The social welfare professor/gang expert is right, it will never change, nor will it ever be eliminated
      Why didn't it work? The show I was watching said something like gang violence was down 40 percent. I'm all for strong arm tactic. Everytime they turn around there should be a black and white tailing them,

      Comment


      • #4
        I have heard the same old spill for years now. But every year it comes out in a different spin. In my neck of the woods, things spill over from Compton. With more and more deputies stationed in Compton the crime rate only lowers slightly (maybe minus 10 or so murders a year). Can be borderline warzone. Thank God the keen to kill residents have not got their hands on RPGs.

        It is sad, but the truth is that in the long run we are fighting a loosing battle in the area unless the majority of citizens want our help and become part of the sollution and not part of the problem. I know thats a depressed way of looking at things but it is the truth IMO.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matto
          Why didn't it work? The show I was watching said something like gang violence was down 40 percent. I'm all for strong arm tactic. Everytime they turn around there should be a black and white tailing them,
          Depending what area you're talking about. Gang violence is up in other areas of LA County, while it went down in stations like Compton or Century Stations. Im also for strong arm tactics. But I believe the economy has alot to do with crime trends. It can easily go up again next year for no reason at all. Also, the difference between a homicide and a adw is a matter of inches. Sometimes its misleading when the media releases homicide numbers. You still could have had the same amount of shootings.
          Last edited by Five-0fromSoCal; 01-23-2007, 01:00 AM.

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          • #6
            Matto,

            I've talked to some officers here about it and sometimes the best I get is that they do what they can when they can or just clean up the mess and hopefully put the bad guy that did it behind bars. I am intrigued by the gang world as well because it's something that has so many layers to it. I have spent hours in books, gang related websites, wikipedia, magazines learning about them. I'm sure there are those gangs that do the same thing about law enforcement agencies and their ideals and tactics. What better a way to fight something when you are able to take it apart and analyze it under a microscope? The time to do that on the street does not exist but just like the ex-gang member says, you have to re-educate those that are in and educate others BEFORE they get in. The better that we understand them, the more ammunition we have to go to battle with. By ammunition I mean brains.

            The circle in gangland is so vicious that generations are born from it and into it. Mom and dad are gangsters and so are their parents and a majority of their relatives and other close non-blood "familia". I have literally spent hours individually reasearching gangs like MS-13, H-A, AB, AMV, AZAMV, their territories, laws, and other modi operandi. The information and its' depth is mind boggling.

            Roger is right. Unless the people in the communities "fight back" and reclaim their streets, there is nothing to stop them. It's like the fairy tale of the boy who put his finger in the hole of the dam. One gangbanger goes down, there are 5 right behind him/her.

            As far as the strong arm tactic goes...well...that percentage down score is only until the ones incarcerated either get sprung or are released back into the wild. There is so much to it I could go on for hours, so I will spare you all.

            "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..."


            August evenings
            Bring solemn warnings
            To remember to kiss the ones you love goodnight
            You never know what temporal days may bring
            Laugh, love, live free and sing
            When life is in dischord
            Praise ye the lord

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by OurDeepestFear
              Matto,

              I've talked to some officers here about it and sometimes the best I get is that they do what they can when they can or just clean up the mess and hopefully put the bad guy that did it behind bars. I am intrigued by the gang world as well because it's something that has so many layers to it. I have spent hours in books, gang related websites, wikipedia, magazines learning about them. I'm sure there are those gangs that do the same thing about law enforcement agencies and their ideals and tactics. What better a way to fight something when you are able to take it apart and analyze it under a microscope? The time to do that on the street does not exist but just like the ex-gang member says, you have to re-educate those that are in and educate others BEFORE they get in. The better that we understand them, the more ammunition we have to go to battle with. By ammunition I mean brains.

              The circle in gangland is so vicious that generations are born from it and into it. Mom and dad are gangsters and so are their parents and a majority of their relatives and other close non-blood "familia". I have literally spent hours individually reasearching gangs like MS-13, H-A, AB, AMV, AZAMV, their territories, laws, and other modi operandi. The information and its' depth is mind boggling.

              Roger is right. Unless the people in the communities "fight back" and reclaim their streets, there is nothing to stop them. It's like the fairy tale of the boy who put his finger in the hole of the dam. One gangbanger goes down, there are 5 right behind him/her.

              As far as the strong arm tactic goes...well...that percentage down score is only until the ones incarcerated either get sprung or are released back into the wild. There is so much to it I could go on for hours, so I will spare you all.

              Nice post.

              I agree with whats been said thus far, that it's going to take more than cops cracking down, but I still think that has to have an affect.

              Comment


              • #8
                cracking down on gangs

                they are always cracking down on these gangs, not enough jail cells, not enough cops,etc. Crooks could care less about what is right or wrong. the cycle continues and will just keep getting bigger, people are prisoners in their own homes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by trooperden
                  they are always cracking down on these gangs, not enough jail cells, not enough cops,etc. Crooks could care less about what is right or wrong. the cycle continues and will just keep getting bigger, people are prisoners in their own homes.
                  Unfortunately. Even worse, is I imagine most the gang activity in Los Angeles is from illegals, or possibly spawns of illegals. Sad sad.

                  Comment

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