View Full Version : L.A. on the road to Falluja?

Sunday, June 6th, 2004, 02:32 AM
[My comment: The article below is a good indicator of where all of our cities and countries are heading in the future.]

LA 'on the road to Falluja'?

By Anita Rice
BBC News and Current Affairs

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40226000/jpg/_40226587_police_guns203.jpg Ms Rice says Chief Bratton needs more police officers in LA

The LA murder rate is going up and the police chief has requested more officers. But California is broke and cannot afford to recruit.

Civil rights lawyer Connie Rice warns that with too few officers to "police humanely", parts of the city may as well be in Falluja.

Los Angeles is notorious for gang violence, but even by LA standards 2002 was gruesome. With 658 murders in just that one year, it became America's murder capital.

Of those murders, almost half were directly related to gang turf wars involving drugs and guns. And of those gangs, most are based in south-central or south-east LA.

With a spiralling murder rate and poor police-community relations following the Rodney King riots and the Rampart corruption scandal, the city appointed a new chief to clean up its act.

Amid much fanfare and hype William Bratton - the man credited with cleaning up New York's once-soaring crime rate under the political stewardship of former mayor Rudy Giuliani - was brought in to get LA under control.

Chief Bratton immediately appointed a second deputy charged with concentrating some officers in gang areas and targeting gangs. He also prioritised improving relations with minority communities.

'Shovelling quicksand'

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif We are now seeing the ambushing of cops by gangsters and we should be panicking http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

Connie Rice

And 2003 saw the overall murder rate fall in LA by 23%, but so far this year the murder rate is back on the increase across the city.

The LAPD's figures show a 5% year-on-year rise in homicides from Jan to April 2004.

And while the number of homicides fell in some neighbourhoods last year, it only ever continued to rise in the hardcore gang areas.

In civil-rights lawyer Connie Rice's words, the officers are simply "shovelling quicksand" - and without more equipment, back-up, effective witness protection, training and, crucially, more officers, they are fighting a losing battle.

And she should know. Having worked with the community and the LAPD on various initiatives and reform programmes ever since the 1992 Rodney King case sparked riots, she is now about to begin investigating the newly re-opened Rampart police corruption scandal inquiry.

Aside from a rising homicide rate, Ms Rice warns that the gangs are crossing a line that has not been crossed before: They are now targeting police officers themselves.

She says: "It's one thing for gangsters to exchange fire with the police in situations, but we are now starting to see sniping. We are now seeing the ambushing of cops by gangsters and we should be panicking.

"We are on the way to a point of no return and we will end up in a Falluja situation. It is already a Falluja situation in some areas. LA is on the road to Falluja."

Ms Rice also claims potential witnesses are even being murdered by criminals inside jails because the prisons are "so overcrowded and thinly staffed". She says this has happened five times already this year alone.

She also says the situation with gangs was so out of control that even older gang leaders were frightened of today's members because they do not operate within a moral framework at all.

"Who's bringing them up?" one former Crips gang leader asked Ms Rice after telling her even he feared the younger gangsters. She warns when that happens, "We should be very, very afraid."

Occupying army?

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40226000/jpg/_40226593_gangbody_203.jpg Ms Rice says even former gang leaders fear today's gangsters

Ms Rice says the way LA is policed needs to be overhauled.

She says the LAPD's tactics resemble those of an occupying army that is effectively at war with the community and only hopes to hold criminals in one area.

"It's a containment model. It's highly aggressive but we don't have enough cops to police humanely, just to keep crime contained."

Police officers routinely stop and search people in a bid to get information and under the law they are free to stop anyone on probation. In these areas Ms Rice says you can presume that 80% of the population are on probation.

She describes these tactics as creating "a police state, it is not a constitutional democracy in these areas", and believes the only way to control the gangs effectively is for the police to become part of the community.

She says the police must "act like part of the community, live there and talk to people because the LAPD needs community intelligence.

"The community is the only place. They are the only ones who know who is psychopathic and who's just wearing gang colours because they might get beaten or even killed."

She claims that while Chief Bratton has made "big changes at leadership level that doesn't mean the desk sergeant gets it."

Ms Rice is not optimistic for the future; she thinks it will take from 15 to 20 years before the changes Chief Bratton has succeeded with at leadership level reach the rank and file officers.

California is broke and the city has not been able to fund recruiting the extra officers Chief Bratton requested.

Ms Rice claims the city is about to close 10 swimming pools and business analysts are warning that teenagers face the toughest holiday job market this summer for 40 years.

With the existing, simmering tensions, without any increase in police numbers and a reduction in facilities and employment, Connie Rice warns LA is facing a "very long, hot summer."

In a statement to the BBC an LAPD spokesman quoted Chief Bratton as saying: "At a time when youth gang murders are on the rise, we need Congress to reject proposed cuts to juvenile justice funds. "Instead, we must increase investments in the proven community programs working with our police to cut gang crime."

Sunday, June 6th, 2004, 03:04 AM
It's an enchanted circle. The gangs are left to operate freely on purpose. They cause fear, and fear makes the citizens of LA paranoid, the paranoia makes the regular citizens work more to situate themselves better, and also spend more. This article also is probably a good representation of what really does go on, but... this quote: "We should be very, very afraid." perfectly explains what the intentions of the government about this situation really are: the government will do nothing to stop gangs.

Sure, they will decrease or increase the crime rate by 10-15%, but they won't do anything radical to put a stop to the ever-spawning gangs and crime.
The Crips aren't exactly criminal masterminds who can't be beheaded and broken, but they are an useful lever for the control of the aspirations and needs of an entire city.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Sunday, June 6th, 2004, 05:36 AM
L.A. street gangs could be cleaned up tomorrow, if they had the will. We have a law on the books called RICCO. It was to be used to target Mafia gangs, mostly on the East Coast----you know the Italian gangs. What this law does is connect any illegal activity to ALL the participants in that gang. So, for instance, if a Mafia gang was selling stolen merchandise from a dock in NYC, everyone in that gang could be arrested and tried on that single charge.

In L.A. only one change in current law would be necessary. Creating graffiti on a building would have to be considered a crime against property, a felony, akin to arson. Then, everyone in that gang could be rounded up and sent to a Stalag somewhere in the Mojave Desert. No need for air conditioning or heating, the Japanese didn't get it during WW2.

Another solution: Remember the caining incident in Singapore? All gang members under 18 should be spanked, paddled, on television until they cry. Spanked right in front of their homies, girlfriends and rival gang members. All traces of "macho" should be paddled right out of them. Too many Mexican gang members now see prison as simply a right of passage. We taxpayers are paying for their right of passage and the gang is the vehicle by which they "pass", via prison, into manhood. Take this away. Then "mistakenly" deport them---not right across the border but to Veracruz in Southern Mexico. Who cares what the Mexicans say. If they don't like that solution, dump them in Haiti. And speaking of Mexico, California ought to sue Mexico for the costs of educating their childern (L.A. is the second or third largest Mexican city) and the costs of health care. There is absolutely no good reason why this can't be done.

Monday, June 7th, 2004, 05:42 AM
All gang members under 18 should be spanked, paddled, on television until they cry. Spanked right in front of their homies, girlfriends and rival gang members. All traces of "macho" should be paddled right out of them.
That would be the pay per view event of the year!

Monday, June 7th, 2004, 05:51 AM
this quote: "We should be very, very afraid." perfectly explains what the intentions of the government about this situation really are: the government will do nothing to stop gangs...they won't do anything radical to put a stop to the ever-spawning gangs and crime.

That's true, but I would add that any efforts by the law enforcement authorities, or even the legislature, to deal more harshly with the gangs would probably be undermined by the courts. The courts place so much emphasis on the 'due process rights' of professional criminals - I mean, defendants - that even a bit of necessary roughness by the police could result in getting the charges dismissed. Replacing the idiot judges who are soft on criminal gangsters would be a necessary prerequisite to any solution.

Monday, June 7th, 2004, 06:09 AM
We've run out of room in our jails in Connecticut. For a couple of years we were sending our violent criminals down to Virgina for corporate ran prisons. The next five years should see a dramatic increase in gang violence. I know that all of the scumbags that I used to run with that got 5-10 year sentences are getting out or will be getting out in the upcoming years. Very few criminals will ever be reformed. The best solution is to make them into dog food. I absolutely agree that the National Guard could come in and go house to house rousing and arresting all of the criminals and clean up the streets in a day, but that would piss off a great many people. Our local police forces are overworked and underpaid. The police have become band aid fixes to a problem that only gets worser with every year. Do we begin executing the criminals? Do we put them on boats and send them to Australia with the rest of the criminals? :P RICO was used here in CT very effectively on the blacks, Italians, and Puerto Ricans, but caused a space that allowed the Mexicans to move in. No good solution exists that would be allowed by law. I know what I'd do to deal with crime and those that commit the crimes.