THE GANGS OF L.A.
The City Fights Back
|Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo speaks during the Jan. 18 press conference in Wilmington, California. He is joined by (from right) FBI Director Robert Mueller, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Chief of Police William Bratton, and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
She was just 14 years old. Last month,
a teenager was gunned down in Los Angeles,
apparently as an act of racial revenge by
a local gang.
Now, the city is taking back the streets—in
the name of this youngster and all those
who have been victimized by a rising tide
of gang violence in L.A.
On January 18, FBI Director Robert Mueller
joined L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police
Chief Bill Bratton, County Sheriff Lee Baca
, and other city and federal officials in
announcing a new, multi-agency gang task
force to combat the problem.
The task force will pool resources from
across government in a major crack down on
the 204 th Street gang reportedly behind
Green’s murder and on other gangs citywide.
"We have a message for these gang
leaders,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We
are coming with everything we have … and
we are putting you out of business."
Among the actions planned:
- Joint patrols by L.A. police and the
sheriffs, including the sharing of vehicles;
- Greater collection of intelligence on
gangs and their members;
- Creation of a list of the worst 10-20
L.A. gangs to be targeted;
- Cooperation with neighboring cities
like Torrance where some gang members have
- A crack down on graffiti and vandalism
- Injunctions, lawsuits, and curfews to
keep the gangs off the streets and out
of certain areas;
- Increased surveillance of gang activities
and more investigations of narcotics violations
and gun crimes by federal agents; and
- The use of stiffer federal hate crime
and civil rights laws.
Visibly moved at the press conference by
the story of the teenager’s killing,
Director Mueller pledged the FBI’s
support, including assigning agents to the
task force. “ We will be working shoulder
to shoulder with police officers in these
areas,” he said.
that day Mueller described the FBI’s
strategies and successes in addressing
the gang menace in Los Angeles and nationwide during
a speech at the Chamber of Commerce.
Gang violence is up 14 percent in L.A.,
despite a drop in the overall crime rate.
The city has an estimated 700 gangs with
40,000 members and is the birthplace of notorious
gangs such as MS-13, the Bloods, and the
more information on our fight against gangs,
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