Gang Crime in Los Angeles and So. CA
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a wimp. He correctly notes that there is a serious gang problem in his city but his solution is just stupid.
Mr Villaraigosa said there was a connection between poverty, low education levels, lack of job opportunities and gang membership.
These root issues needed to be addressed as part of a solution to gang violence in the United States and elsewhere, he said.
While I don’t doubt that poverty, low education levels and lack job opportunities allowed gangs to recruit new members, the idea that the gang problem is going to be solved by addressing these problems now is a fools policy…and Mayor Villaraigosa is a fool.
Part of the new strategy will be to target specific gangs and gang leaders. Sounds goog, but Najee Ali, former gang member turned community activist notes the problem with this policy,
Najee Ali, a community activist and former gang member, said the mayor and police chief shouldn’t be legitimizing gangs with such a list. “To the gang members it is a badge of honor.”
I’ve heard Najee Ali a number of times on the radio here in Southern California and he has always had sensible things to say, I fear he may be correct on this point as well.
And what exactly is this plan? So far, it looks like not much,
The LAPD has shifted 18 additional officers to the 204th Street gang turf and is expected to double that soon.
Villaraigosa also 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. Gonzalez has dubbed gangs one of the country’s greatest threats.
The mayor is also working with FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has assigned agents to an anti-gang task force in the San Fernando Valley to work alongside cops deputized as federal officers.
Moving around upto 54 cops and begging for money and help. Yep that is a great strategy for taking on 39,000 gang members. Basically we have nothing. If you can’t pay for your plan you have no plan.
Here in Los Angeles the way gang violence is handled is you hold a three day summit about how bad the gang problem is, issue a report, beg for money and then do nothing.
Simply deporting these guys does not seem to have done much good either. Typically the gang members from the notorious MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatrucha) are deported back to El Salvador where they visit with friends and family and often return, illegally, to the U.S. But even more disconcerting is that some MS-13 gang members elected to stay in El Salvador and expand the gang there. Now, MS-13 is spreading out to other cities directly from El Salvador via illegal immigration.
Gang violence is a serious problem and one that underscores why there is a need for immigration reform/improved border security. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s mealy mouthed pablum isn’t going to help the situation though.