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Christopher Coke, Jamaica Drug Lord, Sentenced To 23 Years

Posted by shadmia on June 9, 2012

Christopher “Dudus” Coke has been sentenced after being found guilty in a Manhattan court. 23 years in prison, exactly what the prosecutors in the case were asking for. See the story below.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Posted in Crime, Drugs, Gangs, Jamaica, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

No Bail for Jeffrey Conroy

Posted by shadmia on November 25, 2008

Isabel with Rosario and William MurilloJeffrey ConroyRosario Lucero

Without comment, state Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle denied Jeffrey Conroy bail and ordered him back to jail. Conroy – who is being held on charges that include second-degree murder as a hate crime, manslaughter and gang assault – pleaded not guilty to all charges. His lawyer, William Keahon of Islandia, says that his client is innocent and he intends to prove it.

“I promise that the district attorney’s office will not and cannot convict my client because he is innocent,” Keahon said.

Jeffrey Conroy, 17, is accused of stabbing to death 37-year-old Marcelo Lucero on Nov. 8 2008 during a racially-motivated gang assault involving himself and 6 other teens from Patchogue-Medford High School in Long Island, NY. In fact the 7 teens had been “beaner jumping” – a derogatory term used to signify that they were looking for Hispanics to beat up – that night.

They had picked on other Hispanics before encountering Lucero. After hurling racial epithets at Lucero – who was from Ecuador –  the teens proceeded to punch and kick him. Lucero unsuccessfully tried to defend himself with the belt from his pants but he was hopelessly overwhelmed by the teens. The brawl ended when Conroy plunged his knife into Lucero’s chest, killing him.

Also charged were:

Jordan Dasch, Nicholas Hausch, Kevin Shea, and Anthony Hartford, all 17 years old from Medford;

Christopher Overton, 16, and Jose Pacheco, 17, of East Patchogue;

Bail was set by Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond for 5 of the 6 teens.

Christopher Overton was held without bail, citing the suspect’s previous felony conviction in connection with a botched 2007 burglary that left homeowner Carlton Shaw Sr., 38, dead on the lawn of his East Patchogue home.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota insisted his office had a “very, very strong case” against Conroy and the other six defendants. Spota said the hate crime charges should send a message to the would-be perpetrators of other bias attacks.

“The clear-cut message,” Spota said, “is we in Suffolk County, we do take it very seriously.”

The indictments of the 6 teens were announced the same day as the funeral was held for Marcelo Lucero in Ecuador. His grieving mother, Rosario, said the latest indictments were nothing to celebrate but the charges are “well deserved. They need to understand the pain they have caused us.
Marcello Lucero liked playing volleyball and lifting weights. He rented movies with friends and called his mother in Ecuador several times a week. Lucero was 10 when his father died of a heart attack. “Suddenly, he became the man of the house and had to help my mother raise three younger siblings,” said his brother, also known as Efriam. “He never complained. There were so few opportunities at home,” his brother said. “He wanted the American dream.” So he traveled to the United States.

“Even though he’d been in the United States for 16 years, he always said, ‘I miss home. I’m going back,'” his brother Joselo said yesterday. “Now he’ll never be able to go home.”

The following set of videos show a part of the life of Marcelo Lucero and the struggles that some immigrants go through to find a better life for themselves and their families.

Many men travel to the US leaving behind their families including children who miss their fathers very much:

It is sometimes difficult to understand the conditions that motivate immigrants – many of them illegal – to leave in their homeland in search of work to send back money to improve the lives of their loved ones.

The funeral for Marcelo was attended by hundreds from the town of Gualaceo, Ecuador, where he was born and lived, until coming to the U.S. His mother, Rosario and sister, Isabel, carried his ashes to the church and the cemetery followed by crowds of well-wishers.

The Funeral


Marcelo Lucero

1971 – 2008

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Posted in Gang Assault, Gangs, news, Our World, racism, Racists | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Marcelo Lucero – A Victim of Racism

Posted by shadmia on November 23, 2008

Jeffrey ConroyMemorialMarcelo Lucero

On Nov. 8th 2008, Marcelo Lucero, 37, of Patchogue, L.I. was murdered by Jeffrey Conroy, 17, who plunged a knife into his chest during a gang assault. Conroy has now been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime – the first time on Long Island someone has faced such a charge – along with the original charge of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime. Conroy could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted. His bail has not yet been set.

The GangThe GangJeffrey Conroy

But Jeffrey Conroy was not alone. In fact he was a member of a gang of 7 teenagers – all between 16 and 17, students at Patchogue-Medford High School – who were out ”beaner jumping,” a derogatory term they used as a euphemism for attacking Hispanics.

The other 6 teenagers involved in this incident were all charged with gang assault, conspiracy, attempted assault and attempted gang assault. They face 5 to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Charged were:

Jordan Dasch, Nicholas Hausch, Kevin Shea, and Anthony Hartford, all 17 years old from Medford;

Christopher Overton, 16, and Jose Pacheco, 17, of East Patchogue;

Bail was set by Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond for 5 of the 6 teens.

Christopher Overton was held without bail, citing the suspect’s previous felony conviction in connection with a botched 2007 burglary that left homeowner Carlton Shaw Sr., 38, dead on the lawn of his East Patchogue home.

Nicolas Hausch and Jordan Dasch also were each charged with another count of second-degree assault as a hate crime after they attacked Marlon Garcia in front of his home with a BB gun about 5 a.m. that day, prosecutors said.

Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the seven students charged in the attack admitted they regularly beat Hispanics for fun. He said one of the accused attackers, Anthony Hartford, 17, of Medford, told police “I don’t go out doing this very often, maybe once a week.”

“That statement provides a true window into the mindset of these defendants,” Spota said. “To them, it was a sport.”

It all began on the morning of Nov. 8th when two of the accused teens, Nicolas Hausch and Jordan Dasch started out from their homes in the hamlet of Medford at the crack of dawn to look for Hispanics to terrorize. Their first victim was a Hispanic man, Marlon Garcia, who was standing in his driveway. The pair took aim at him with a BB gun and shot him several times.

That same evening the two teens met up with five more of their friends and decided to continue “beaner jumping“. At about 11:30 pm the gang found and beat a Hispanic man, Hector Sierra, 55, in neighboring Patchogue, but he was able to escape.

Sierra said he noticed a light-colored sport utility vehicle driving by slowly. I had the impression I was being watched,” said Sierra, adding that he continued walking. The SUV stopped about 40 yards away at Thorne Street, Sierra said, and four males with closely cropped hair jumped out. “Out of the corner of my eye, I could see them running really fast,” he said.

“They punched me twice on the side of my head, then they struck me on the back of the head and I fell in the middle of the street,” Hector Sierra said of the Nov. 8 attack by four male teenagers. “They kicked me, and I thought, ‘they’re going to kill me.'”

Sierra said he got up and rushed to a home near Oak Street, pounding his fists on the windows, kicking the front door and yelling for help until the assailants ran away. “They never said anything,” he said. “It was a hunt … It was very dark.”

Marcelo Lucero 2Marcelo Lucero 4Marcelo Lucero 3

Just before midnight Saturday, Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, and a pal were walking to another friend’s home when the teens piled out of an SUV yelling racial epithets. As his friend ran, Lucero pulled his leather belt from his waist to defend himself. He managed to strike one of them. But he was no match for the thugs and was soon overwhelmed.

Kevin Shea later boasted, ” ‘I punched him, I got him good. I saw blood coming down,’ ” police sources said.

At one point, Lucero managed to scramble to his feet. That’s when Jeffrey Conroy, a lacrosse and wrestling star who sources said has a swastika tattoo on his thigh, allegedly stabbed him in the chest.

This was not some high-school prank,” Assistant Suffolk DA Nancy Clifford said “This was a well-thought-out crime specifically targeting Hispanics.” In their own words they decided beforehand,  ‘Let’s go find some Mexicans to f- – – up.’

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Posted in Gang Assault, Gangs, news, Our World, racism, Racists | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Eva Daley Found Guilty

Posted by shadmia on October 7, 2008

Eva Daley, 31, was found guilty of second-degree murder along with 17-year-old Heriberto Garcia. The pair were originally charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 13-year-old Jose Cano. The 11-woman, 1-man jury deliberated for 2 1/2 days before agreeing on the second-degree murder conviction. Both Daley and Garcia face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life. Daley will be sentenced on Nov. 4th while Garcia will learn his fate on Oct. 28th.

Eva Daley, a single mother of three children who said she had worked many jobs – including at a cleaning business and selling Avon products – to support her family, was accused of driving her son Mauricio Rivera, who was 14 at the time, and his six of his friends to the 14th Street Park, Long Beach, Ca. where the teens found and stabbed 13-year-old Jose Cano to death on June 25th 2007. According to the prosecution it was an act of revenge because the victim’s gang had attacked Daley’s home earlier that day with roadside flares, disrespecting her. See the full details of the stabbing death here and the subsequent trial here.

Mauricio Rivera and his four friends: Juan Bautista, Carlos Jimenez, Edwin Moran and Jakkia Ross plead guilty to manslaughter earlier this year in juvenile court. Another friend, Alejandro Flores, is scheduled to plead guilty to manslaughter. They were all between 14 and 17 at the time of the murder and will all likely be held in the California Department of Corrections Juvenile Justice Division, formerly the California Youth Authority, until their 26th birthdays, the maximum sentence possible.

Heriberto Garcia, who was 15 at the time, was the only teen to be tried as an adult. Police and prosecutors identified him as the one who did the actual stabbing of Jose Cano. He was tried jointly on the murder charge with Eva Daley.

Extra security was brought into the court for both her verdict and Garcia’s verdict reading, which took place about two hours before Daley’s.

Daley did not cry, although her hands shook and she looked pale and grim when she glanced back at her boyfriend and brother, the only members of her family to attend the verdict reading.

Garcia had no family in court, although Daley’s brother did come into the courtroom after his guilty verdict was read.

The 17-year-old seemed calm, and simply nodded to Daley’s brother before loping out of the courtroom, his hands cuffed behind his back.

The pair had faced the possibility of first degree murder – which would have carried a 25 year to life term – but the Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan said he was confident the jury carefully considered all the evidence and came back with the right decision.

“This was a tough case, a very emotional case, with a mother of three charged with murder…,” Lonergan said.

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Posted in Gang Assault, Gangs, Murder, news, Our World | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Eva Daley on Trial

Posted by shadmia on October 2, 2008

Eva Daley, 31, will never be called the “World’s Greatest Mom” or any variation of that title. If fact Eva Daley will be very lucky if she is ever called a “free woman” again. She has been in jail since being accused of helping her 14-year-old son, Mauricio Rivera, and his friends kill 13-year-old Jose “Bobby” Cano on June 25, 2007 in what has been called a gang-related murder. She and one of her son’s friends, 17-year-old Heriberto Garcia, are both on trial, jointly charged with first-degree murder. They face 25 years to life, if convicted. See a previous report on this case here.

A total 7 kids ranging in age between 14 and 17 were arrested along with Daley. Six of them: Daley’s son, Mauricio Rivera, Juan Bautista, Alejandro Flores, Jakkia Ross, Carlos Jimenez and Edwin Moran have already been tried in juvenile court. All but Flores have pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and can be held in juvenile prison until the age of 26. Flores’ sentencing, or disposition as it is called in juvenile court, is scheduled for Oct. 8.

Only 17-year-old Heriberto Garcia has been charged as an adult, meaning he faces the same possible maximum sentence as Daley: 25 years to life in state prison.

It all began on the night of June 25, 2007. Eva Daley is accused of driving the kids around in search of the LT (Latin Thugs) gang members. They wanted revenge after Jose Cano and his gang attacked Daley’s home with roadside flares and slapped her, and because Cano had stabbed Daley’s son in an incident six months prior, the prosecution alleges. Her son’s gang the LMS (Los Marijuana Smokers) had a long standing rivalry with the LTs.

The LMS eventually found members of the LT in a park. Daley stopped her SUV, the kids all piled out, running towards them and a fight ensued. Jose Cano was caught, while trying to flee, by the LMS.

What happened next is described by homicide detective Daniel Mendoza, who testified at the trial. He interviewed Heriberto Garcia who admitted he “poked” the victim with his pocketknife while his cohorts beat the 13-year-old to the ground.

Mendoza said Garcia described all his friends punching and kicking the victim, and some of the other suspects hitting their rival with metal pipes, wood sticks or bats and a weapon Garcia called a “shank,” which the defendant described as a piece of metal sharpened at one end.

Garcia went on to describe his part of the attack, saying he stabbed the victim twice, then kicked him several times and punched him.

“We’re you concerned that you might have hurt the guy?” Mendoza asked.

“At first (no) Then I realized I hurt him,” Garcia said.

“And that’s when you put your knife back in your pocket,” Mendoza said.

“Yeah,” Garcia said.

One of the kids involved in the attack Edwin Moran was interviewed about his role in the fight that night, his comments were recorded by the police and played during the trial.

On the recording Moran claimed he tried to punch the dying Cano when he began to stand up, but missed, and then tried to kick the victim, but missed again, losing his Nike sneaker. He identified the shoe as one of three found at the murder scene by police.

In his interview, Moran said, “(Garcia) said, ‘I got him, I shanked that vato.’ … He had blood on his shirt and he was kind of shaking.”

That prompted several in the SUV to start yelling at Garcia, Moran told police.

“Somebody else said, ‘Why’d you do it, what the f—?'” Moran said in the recording. “People was tripping, I was tripping.”

Detectives asked Moran if Daley knew what they were going to do that night and he said, “Yeah, I guess. … She probably just thought we were going to beat them up.”

Later on in the interview, he told police, “She was telling (Garcia), ‘Why did you do that?’ She said, ‘You’re f—— nuts, you’re going to get caught up.'”

In court Moran claimed he could not remember what happened even after listening to his recorded interview. He insisted he never saw the other defendant do anything to the victim and that he wasn’t trying to set Garcia up.

“I know that we didn’t intend to go kill anybody,” the 18-year-old said.

During the trial the DA also called a local resident who testified he was standing near the alley at Locust Avenue and 14th Street one block east of Pine, when he saw a white Chevy Tahoe stop abruptly at the end of the alley. The witness said he hid behind a palm tree after he saw several boys jump out of the truck and run toward 14th Street. Within two to three minutes, he saw a woman run back toward the truck, followed by the boys, he said.

“The lady came and started the car and she started yelling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, come on, come on,'” the man said. “I heard one of the boys say, ‘We slashed him good.'”

A mother of one of Cano’s friends testified that she arrived shortly after the stabbing and found kids passing and carrying the limp and bloody 13-year-old from person to person around the park and street. He was eventually placed in her car, still alive, and she drove him to St. Mary Medical Center where he died, she testified.

Cano was conscious throughout the drive, struggling to breathe and to talk, she recalled.

She identified investigator’s photos of her blood-soaked car and said she drove the entire way with one hand on the boy’s gushing chest wound, using her free hand to steer and shift gears.

“He was telling me ‘LMS, LMS,'” she said. “He was trying to talk, but all that came out was the three words ‘LMS.'”

In closing arguments Eva Daley was described by the prosecution as a woman seeking revenge for her son’s stabbing last winter. Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan told the jury that Daley knew what the teens planned to do to the rival gang. The jury of 11 women and 1 man will next begin deliberating the fate of Eva Daley and Heriberto Garcia.

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Godinez Gets 5 Years

Posted by shadmia on July 17, 2008

Edson Godinez, 17, of the city of Newburgh, NY went before Orange County Court Judge Robert Freehill to be sentenced for assaulting police officer, Richard Hammer on Feb. 16, 2008. He had been charged with 3 felonies: Two counts of second-degree assault and a single count of attempted aggravated assault on a police officer. He also faced misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

It all began about 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 16th on Mill Street, Newburgh when police officer Richard Hammer saw a gang of at least twelve Hispanic males chasing another unidentified 23-year-old Hispanic male. They caught up with the fleeing man and began a vicious assault. That was when officer Hammer attempted to intervene. While trying to arrest the two ringleaders who led the attack, he was also assaulted by 5 or 6 others in the gang. During the altercation Hammer was stabbed by one of the two men (Godinez) he was trying to arrest. The other one and the rest of the gang escaped. The fight was believed to have stemmed from a dispute between two street gangs in Newburgh, the Barrio Benkard Kings (BBKs) and La Eme. In his defense Godinez claimed he didn’t know that a police officer was the one who was trying to break up the brawl.

In court Godinez pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated assault on a police office. The prosecution recommended 9 years in prison but Godinez’ lawyer, Gary Abramson of the Orange County Legal Aid Society, argued for a lesser sentence.The maximum sentence was 15 years. In the end Judge Robert Freehill sentenced Godinez to five years in state prison. The judge also denied Godinez youthful offender treatment, which would have sealed his record. Godinez apologized for his actions in a barely audible voice, wiping his eyes as he spoke.

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Posted in Assualt, Gang Assault, Gangs, news, Our World, Police | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gang Member Stabs Police Officer

Posted by shadmia on February 28, 2008


Edson Godinez, 17, of Ann St. in Newburgh, New York was arrested and faces 3 felony charges: Two counts of second-degree assault and a single count of attempted aggravated assault on a police officer. He also faces misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest. He is being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

It all began about 1:45 a.m. on Mill Street when police officer Richard Hammer saw a gang of at least twelve Hispanic males chasing another unidentified 23-year-old Hispanic male. They caught up with the fleeing man and began a vicious assault. That was when officer Hammer attempted to intervene. While trying to arrest the two ringleaders who led the attack, he was also assaulted by 5 or 6 others in the gang. During the altercation Hammer was stabbed by one of the two men he was trying to arrest. The other one and the rest of the gang escaped.

The unidentified 23-year-old being chased, sustained multiple stab wounds during the attack and was flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Officer Richard Hammer was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh and released. He is recovering at home.

The fight was believed to have stemmed from a dispute between two street gangs in Newburgh, the Barrio Benkard Kings (BBKs) and La Eme. The investigation is continuing, and police expect to make additional arrests.


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Posted in Assualt, Barrio Benkard Kings, BBK, Edson Godinez, Gangs, La Eme, news, Our World, Police, Richard Hammer | Leave a Comment »

Youth Pleads not Guilty in Schoolyard Killings

Posted by shadmia on February 7, 2008


17-year-old, Nicaraguan-born, Alexander Alfaro was arraigned in Superior Court in Newark on 18 criminal counts stemming from the schoolyard shooting deaths of three college students. Along with three murder counts, Alfaro faces robbery, attempted murder and weapons counts. Prosecutors allege Alfaro used a machete to attack 20-year-old Iofemi Hightower, one of the victims. He pleaded not guilty. Judge Donald J. Volkert Jr. continued his bail at $1 million and referred his charges to the grand jury.

Assistant Prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo said afterward that he wanted the bail raised to $4 million since the youth had fled New Jersey after the shooting and had to be brought back from Virginia.

Alfaro and 5 others, including 3 adults and 2 juveniles, all with alleged ties to the MS-13 street gang, were charged in the Aug. 4 2007 murders at the Mt. Vernon School in Newark’s Ivy Hill section. Superior Court Judge James Troiano, who sits in the court’s family division, ruled last month that Alfaro can be tried as an adult. Two other suspects who were 15 at the time of the killings are undergoing evaluations to determine whether they can be tried as adults as well.

Dead are: Iofemi Hightower, 20, Dashon Harvey, 20, and Terrance Aeriel, 18.


The three victims were ordered to kneel against a wall and were each shot in the head. Aeriel’s sister, Natasha, survived a gunshot wound to the head and was able to help authorities identify some of the suspects. She and her family are living at an undisclosed location under the custody of the state’s witness protection program. The Aeriels and Harvey were students at Delaware State University, while Hightower was in the process of enrolling for the fall semester.

The three adults charged in the murders are:


  • Rodolfo Godinez, 24, of Newark NJ, originally from Nicaragua and half-brother of Alexander Alfaro.

Two unnamed juveniles, both 15 at the time, were also arrested.


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Posted in Alexander Alfaro, Crime, Dashon Harvey, Gangs, Iofemi Hightower, MS-13, Murder, Natasha Aeriel, news, Our World, Schools, Terrance Aeriel | Leave a Comment »

Baseball, Gangs & Business

Posted by shadmia on August 26, 2007


What do baseball, gangs and business have in common? Well for a short while anyway they were all in the cap business. New Era the officially licensed manufacturer of the New York Yankees baseball caps came out with three different cap designs imitating gang colors and logos alongside the familiar interlocked NY of the baseball team. They featured a red and black bandanna design for the Bloods, blue and gray for the Crips and a gold crown for the Latin Kings.

Activists were outraged and said New Era, the Yankees and the MLB are deliberately marketing gang paraphernalia to gang members and wannabes.

“It is a scandal with the work that we do to walk around the corner in our community and find that Corporate America is profiting on the blood of our kids.” said Stan Koehler, director of Peace on the Street.

“To have this company actually come out here and produce gang paraphernalia that’s going to hurt kids, they don’t realize that if you wear the wrong cap on the wrong block you will get opened up, you will get slashed or jumped, so you can die…..they need to be aware that the wrong color combination in our community can be fatal.”

“Bandannas represent gang flags,” said Brian Martinez, an NYPD detective involved with Peace on the Street. “New Era is making it really convenient for gang members, because now your flag is part of your hat.”

At Tom, Dick and Harry’s on East 106th Street, manager Isaiah Hill pulled the gang-themed caps from the shelves.

“These guys are right,” said Hill. “This is a very dangerous fad that could cause serious violence.”

Johnny Rivera, who led the group of protesters, first discovered the caps while shopping with his son for back-to-school gear last week. He offered to buy his son a black New Era baseball cap with a gold Yankee logo and embroidered crown. The 11-year-old explained to his then-clueless father that the hat was “a gang thing,” and wearing it would put him in danger. “This is not something I was aware of as a 45-year old father buying a hat for my 11-year old kid,” he said.

Both MLB and the Yankees insisted they were unaware of the symbolism in the cap designs, with the New York team noting they were never given a chance to review the new hats until they were already for sale.

The team was “completely unaware that caps with gang-related logos and colors had been manufactured with the New York Yankees logo on them,” said a Yankees statement. “The New York Yankees oppose any garment that may be associated with gangs or gang-related activity.”

New Era ordered the removal of the caps from store shelves after complaints from baseball officials and the public outcry:

“It has been brought to our attention that some combinations of icons and colors on a select number of our caps could be too closely perceived to be in association with gangs,” said Christopher H. Koch, CEO of New Era Cap. “In response, we, along with Major League Baseball, have pulled those caps.”

New Era said it would increase its efforts to ensure it had a better working knowledge of gang symbols, names and locations. All this sounds very good, a company reacting positively to criticism about its business practices, but this is not the first time New Era has been in trouble for manufacturing gang-related caps. Just last June the company recalled 100 of its hats from a Cleveland store after it was alerted it was designing caps with logos representing local gangs.

The logos on the hats represented gangs from “Da Valley” (Garden Valley housing project), “10-5,” for the 105th Street gang called Waste-5 and “HVD” for the street gang on Harvard Avenue. In a very familiar sounding tone the company issued the following statement:

“We had no knowledge the logo on our cap was a gang logo,” said Gerry Matos, senior vice president of marketing for New Era Cap Co. “Once we were alerted, we immediately contacted the retailer and had the caps recalled.”

Mato revealed that the company plans to take steps to ensure that it never happens again.

“We plan to work with police gang suppression units to get the names of gangs across the U.S.,” Mato said. ” We also have told our sales force to ask ‘why’ if a logo is obscure.”

The New Era company, which has produced hats for Major League Baseball since the 1930s, seems to be in tune with the gangs. First in Cleveland and now in New York, each time withdrawing the merchandise after public protest and promising that it will never happen again. It makes you wonder if New Era is consciously or unconsciously promoting or profiting from the proliferation of gangs in the society. It would be interesting to find out who in the company is responsible for the design and marketing of New Era’s merchandise. Have the gangs infiltrated the company or is this just an unfortunate coincidence?

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Posted in Baseball, Gangs, New Era, New York Yankees, news, odd, Our World, world | 2 Comments »

Gangs in the Military

Posted by shadmia on August 9, 2007


Most of us think of street gangs as a fairly recent phenomenon in American culture, concentrated in big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. We also consider gang members to be either Black or Hispanic and to a lesser degree, Asian. With names that carry ominous connotations like the Crips and the Bloods, they are the scourge of urban life; born out of poverty, nurtured by drugs and violence, dealing in death and destruction. However the history of gangs in America goes back to the 19th century.

History of Gangs

The urbanization that accompanied the Industrial Revolution gave rise to the modern street gang. New York City was the epicenter of gang activity in America in the 19th century. Poor sections of the city, such as the Five Points, provided a fertile ground for gangs with strong ethnic identities, usually Irish. Gangs based on Polish, Italian or other ethnicities were also common. The Forty Thieves, Shirt Tails and Plug Uglies fought over territory, robbed and mugged people and sometimes united to fight against gangs from other areas of the city, such as the waterfront and the Bowery district.

Gang activity gradually increased in the 20th century. Through the 1950s and 60s, most gangs were in large cities, although nearby towns and suburbs might have hosted offshoot gangs if they were connected via major highways.

In 1957Gang-defendants.jpgmichael-farmer.jpg, in Washington Heights, a New York city neighborhood, 15 year-old Michael Farmer, thought to be a member of a white gang called the Jesters was kicked, punched and stabbed multiple times by Black and Puerto Rican members of two gangs — the Egyptian Kings and the Dragons. Michael Farmer died as a result of the beating he received. The brutality of the killing and subsequent trial, stunned New Yorkers; and as if to accentuate the gang problem in the city, the musical The West Side Story (originally named The East Side Story) had its debut performance very shortly after this incident. Read the entire story here.

In the 1970s and 1980s illegal drugs and drug use became much more prevalent. Many gangs became involved in the drug trade as a source of income. The widespread availability of guns on the black market enabled them to protect their “turf”, usually in poverty stricken areas, by resorting to violence and intimidation. The ethnic composition of gangs also began to change, eventually becoming predominately Hispanic or Black.

Today gang violence is a problem in every major city in the United States and membership is on the rise. According to the Department of Justice’s 2005 National Gang Threat Assessment, there are at least 21,500 gangs and more than 731,000 active gang members. While gangs are less prevalent in rural areas, in major cities, gang violence is responsible for roughly half of all homicides. Gangs are also becoming more savvy, using computers and other technology to commit crimes.

Why Join a Gang?

According to the Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report 49 percent of gang members were Hispanic, 37 percent were Black, 8 percent White, 5 percent Asian and 1 percent had another ethnicity. There are many possible reasons for someone to join a gang, but four primary reasons seem to describe most gang members:

  1. Poverty
    Many gangs exist mainly as a moneymaking enterprise. By committing thefts and dealing drugs, gang members can make relatively large amounts of money. This partly explains why gangs exist in poor, rundown areas of cities. However, not everyone who is poor joins a gang, and not every gang member is poor.
  2. Peer Pressure
    Gang members tend to be young. This is partly because gangs intentionally recruit teenagers, but it’s also because young people are very susceptible to peer pressure. If they live in a gang-dominated area, or go to a school with a strong gang presence, they might find that many of their friends are joining gangs. Peer pressure is a driving force behind gang membership in affluent areas.
  3. Boredom
    With nothing else to occupy their time, youths sometimes turn to mischief to entertain themselves. If gangs are already present in the neighborhood, that can provide an outlet. Alternatively, teenagers might form their own gangs. This is why many communities have tried to combat gangs by simply giving kids something to do. Dances, sports tournaments and other youth outreach programs can literally keep kids off the streets.
  4. Despair
    If poverty is a condition, despair is a state of mind. A neighborhood gang can seem like the only real family they’ll ever have. Joining a gang gives them a sense of belonging and being a part of something important that they can’t get otherwise. In some cases, parents approve of their children joining gangs, and may have been a member of the same gang in the past.

Drug use is an underlying factor in all of these reasons. Not only does the sale of illegal drugs drive the profits of street gangs, they also create many of the conditions that lead to gang membership. Generally speaking, gangs, as we see them today, were formed for the most part in the Chicago area or areas of California, primarily, Southern California. Many of the hundreds of copy-cat gangs that have formed throughout the United States are based on the Chicago and California gangs.

Gang Roots


In Chicago there are two main gang alliances: The People Nation (founder Jeff Fort) and The Folk Nation (founder David Barksdale). Most gangs will affiliate with one or the other. For an in depth analysis of the Chicago-based gangs click here.

See Part 2 of the video above Here

In California the two major gang factions are the Crips and the Bloods based in Los Angeles. Hispanic factions also formed: the Sureños, representing Southern California gangs and the Norteños, representing Northern California. The MS 13 from El Salvador is a particularly brutal gang (see video below). The Stoner Gangs are a recent development and are generally multi-racial and non-territorial. See the links above for more information on each faction.

On the East Coast two recently formed Hispanic alliances have now appeared on the scene; La Gran Raza (The Great Race) and La Gran Familia (The Great Family.)

In addition to street gangs there are also Prison Gangs. These are gangs that were formed to protect their own members in the prison system.

Gangs in the Military

In the most recent development it appears as if gangs have found a new environment in which to grow and thrive……The US military. With the war in Iraq taking its toll in bodies and declining enrollment, the military has lowered its standards for new recruits and has begun to accept applicants with criminal backgrounds. This has opened the door to many who would in the past have been automatically disqualified. The following video is from an investigative report on gangs in the military:

CBS also did a story on U.S. Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson who was killed in a gang initiation ceremony in Germany, just months before his son was born. Read the story and watch the video here.

One of the country’s leading gang experts says gangs around the country are sending their members to the military to learn urban warfare. Richard Valdemar, a 30-year-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, travels the country lecturing and teaching police about military-trained gang members. Valdemar and other gang experts say gangs are encouraging members to join the military for training and access to weapons. The military’s current emphasis on urban warfare plays into the street-fighting mentality of gangs, experts say:

“When individuals go into the military, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive tactics, and the use of a lot of sophisticated techniques,” said LaRae Quy, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They take that back on the streets with them. This is a legitimate concern for law enforcement.”

For more videos clips about gangs click here



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Posted in Crips and Bloods, David Barksdale, Drugs, Folk Nation, Gangs, Illegal Drugs, Jeff Fort, Juwan Johnson, MS-13, news, Our World, People Nation, world | Leave a Comment »