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In the mid-1980s these crack and PCP drug wars exploded into unprecedented violence and open gang wars on the streets of Los Angeles and Compton. The...

https://www.policemag.com/373420/the-grape-street-gang-the-cco-and-honcho-day
The Hidden Agendas of Latino Activists

Across the U.S., there are numerous highly placed lawyers, and city, state, and national officeholders who came through the university system in the...

https://www.policemag.com/373934/the-hidden-agendas-of-latino-activists
Chicano Power and the Brown Berets

Although the Brown Berets claimed to be advocates of education and the politically informed, the majority of the Brown Beret members were high school...

https://www.policemag.com/373939/chicano-power-and-the-brown-berets

Gangs have evolved in criminal and technical sophistication from the school dropouts of the 1960s. Today's gang members utilize all the modern electric...

https://www.policemag.com/373227/gang-turf-in-cyberspace

“East Los Angeles 24 handle, 23 to assist, 245 just occurred,” came the strangely calm and feminine voice on the radio. The call was directed to my unit....

https://www.policemag.com/373259/breaking-the-viking-code

The Los Angeles Sheriff's OSS Gang Task Force targeting the F-13 gang soon received information that the F-13 gang was enforcing Mexican Mafia orders to tax...

https://www.policemag.com/373686/florence-13-the-other-transnational-gang
False Document Mills Fuel Gang Profits

Advanced computers, scanners, and color printers make counterfeit detection much more difficult. Like good counterfeit currency, most false documents pass...

https://www.policemag.com/373592/false-document-mills-fuel-gang-profits
Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part I

Sometimes separate local, state, or county police are used for physical surveillance. Occasionally when intercepted communications seem to have gone...

https://www.policemag.com/374031/gangs-and-electronic-surveillancepart-i
Will 'End of Watch' Shift the Perception of Cops?

"End of Watch" provides a refreshing avoidance of the Hollywood formula. This production has captured the most realistic depiction of everyday police...

https://www.policemag.com/374245/will-end-of-watch-shift-the-perception-of-cops

Picking the right people, who have the skills and ability to work with gangs and in small specialized units, makes or breaks any gang unit, but the OSS...

https://www.policemag.com/373281/some-cops-are-just-not-cut-out-to-work-gangs

For several months prior to the riots, intelligence reports rolled across my desk about activity in the Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, and Nickerson Gardens...

https://www.policemag.com/373174/what-really-happened-during-the-rodney-king-riots
Compton's 155th Street Gang

The worst of these 155th Street members were usually high on "red devils" (Seconal) and drunk on wine. They were dangerous to everyone and lethal to rivals....

https://www.policemag.com/374255/comptons-155th-street-gang
The Black Guerrilla Family Prison Gang

The Black Guerrilla Family was founded by George Jackson, a former Black Panther and excellent orator who rallied inmates by speaking about the system's...

https://www.policemag.com/374117/the-black-guerrilla-family-prison-gang

The season brings the same problems to the ghettos and barrios that face the rest of us, except in an exaggerated way. Problems like poverty, lack of...

https://www.policemag.com/373068/holidays-in-the-hood

A mutation of the noble Neanderthal, the Thug neither hunted nor gathered but found it easier to take by violence someone else's gatherings and someone...

https://www.policemag.com/373621/evolution-of-the-thug

Can you imagine what a gang formed from all aligned Crip and Blood gangs or between the Mexican Mafia and the Nuestra Familia might be capable of?

https://www.policemag.com/374062/gang-truces-usually-turn-out-badly-for-cops

Throughout history gangs have developed, multiplied, and mutated into many forms. Today one of law enforcement’s biggest problems is the inability of law...

https://www.policemag.com/372930/how-to-tell-that-a-group-is-a-gang
Gangs and Lowrider Car Shows

If I worked a gang unit in your area, I would send plainclothes officers inside to monitor any Lowrider shows near your jurisdiction. I would also watch...

https://www.policemag.com/373861/gangs-and-lowrider-car-shows

Some complaints defy common sense and law enforcement very rarely files criminal "false reporting" charges against a complaining party when the allegations...

https://www.policemag.com/373213/gangs-and-citizen-complaints
Sureño Fight Club

While in custody, most Sureño gang members are educated in martial arts fighting tactics and are primarily trained in fighting with edged weapons. The...

https://www.policemag.com/374197/sureno-fight-club

The traditional gang culture is a “macho” lifestyle where women are only second-class members. Like the cheerleaders on the football team; they wear the...

https://www.policemag.com/373140/women-and-criminal-gangs
Categories: Investigations, Special Units
Investigating Gangs Outside the Gang Squad

I remember riding with another L.A. Deputy Sheriff in an East Los Angeles gang car in 1975. To me, it was a privilege working with a special gang...

https://www.policemag.com/339771/investigating-gangs-outside-the-gang-squad
Gangster Clothing: Dressing for Success In Prison

No one in a predatory environment wanted tight, close-fitting clothing. Status in custody was displayed by wearing new, especially large baggy clothing,...

https://www.policemag.com/373447/gangster-clothing-dressing-for-success-in-prison
Going Beyond Suppression Patrols To Eradicate Gangs

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Curtis Jackson pioneered a different way to attack gangs. Instead of using "show of force" suppression patrols, Jackson...

https://www.policemag.com/373501/going-beyond-suppression-patrols-to-eradicate-gangs
Gangsters in Blue: Corrections

When inmates and gang members see cops acting like convicts, they tend to react to them like they do other convicts and gangsters. What little respect that...

https://www.policemag.com/373839/gangsters-in-blue-corrections
Hells Angels: Taking Away Their Toys

When you plan a raid of Hell Angels outlaw motorcycle gang locations for felons, drugs, and guns, don't assume you'll encounter good old boys who ride bikes...

https://www.policemag.com/373759/hells-angels-taking-away-their-toys

Each former or active Sheriff’s detective was there to pay his last respects to a neighborhood hero. No one made them come, and many of their peers would...

https://www.policemag.com/373166/an-unsung-neighborhood-hero

Maybe judges should be made to spend some time with prison staff inside the walls to educate themselves in a practical way on the true realities of life in...

https://www.policemag.com/373608/the-dangers-of-judicial-arrogance
Do You Speak Swahili?

In prison, forms of black slang and African languages are used to code conversations to prevent non-black inmates and staff from understanding the...

https://www.policemag.com/373720/do-you-speak-swahili
Exploiting the Mexican Mafia's Weaknesses

The Mexican Mafia is composed of cell-like cliques united in a coalition under the umbrella name. These cliques or sub-groups are led by informal...

https://www.policemag.com/373919/exploiting-the-mexican-mafias-weaknesses

Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. In 1992, major rioting would continue until May 25. Much has...

https://www.policemag.com/374071/20-years-after-the-rodney-king-riots

The best laid plans and tactics often fall apart after the first shots are fired. However, learning what has worked well against your enemy in the past,...

https://www.policemag.com/372961/the-tactics-of-a-gang-hit

The National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) generates several law enforcement reports about the activity and numbers of criminal gangs in the United...

https://www.policemag.com/373999/the-national-gang-threat-assessments-sanitized-statistics
Off-Duty Gang Confrontations

Do yourself a favor. Your planning for the many facets of an unthinkable off-duty situation must be serious and deliberate. Think about it, and be prepared...

https://www.policemag.com/374024/off-duty-gang-confrontations

MS is not like any other East Coast, Chicago, or even native Salvadorian gang. This is why reports on the gang written by federal law enforcement and the...

https://www.policemag.com/373076/mara-salvatrucha
Categories: Point of Law, Special Units
Investigating Gang Homicides

A gang murder investigation requires your best detective skills to solve the crime and protect the witnesses.

https://www.policemag.com/340412/investigating-gang-homicides
How a Cartel Enforcer Thrived In Lockup

Jose "Bat" Marquez received a life sentence for trafficking methamphetamine from a prison cell. Most law enforcement officials would consider this a...

https://www.policemag.com/373968/how-a-cartel-enforcer-thrived-in-lockup

Just like it is beneficial for a military unit in combat to know the topography of the battle area, your recognition and assessment of the surrounding...

https://www.policemag.com/373282/how-we-took-down-the-geraghty-loma-gang

The attack team crossed the “frontera” via a well-used tunnel near Nogales. It split up on the U.S. side, one group traveling by night toward Sky Harbor...

https://www.policemag.com/373063/a-nightmare-scenario
The Mexican Mafia: Down But Not Out

Every time law enforcement thought that they had knocked out or retired the Eme organization, they found that the Eme came back again. The Mexican Mafia...

https://www.policemag.com/374357/the-mexican-mafia-down-but-not-out

We had just saved the founder of the Mexican Mafia’s life by arresting him and sending him to prison. But he wouldn’t be grateful. He would quickly...

https://www.policemag.com/373169/some-gang-members-can-go-straight

I would have them imagine that we were going on a trip to a faraway land, to a country and a culture with very different customs, clothing, family...

https://www.policemag.com/373194/learning-how-to-speak-gang

Suddenly, a night of fun became a night of terror as multiple muzzle flashes lit the night from the interior of the blue Impala. Bang! Bang! Bang!...

https://www.policemag.com/373150/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-gang-member

We all fear that the justice system seems unable to protect us or punish the bad guys. When these conditions and feelings become extreme, self protection...

https://www.policemag.com/373329/vigilante-justice

Every outlaw biker knows that “snitches wind up in ditches,” but Buck Garrett wanted more than just Margo Compton. He wanted to make an example of her to...

https://www.policemag.com/373270/protecting-gang-witnesses

Hip-hop stars, drug dealers, and notorious gang members frequented every cock fighting derby. Because guns and other weapons were openly exposed, disputes...

https://www.policemag.com/373218/animal-pit-fights
Edged Weapons and Gang Culture

Edged-weapon gang culture flourished most prominently in American jails and prisons. Every inmate is expected to be able to defend himself. Gang members...

https://www.policemag.com/373726/edged-weapons-and-gang-culture

I find it hard to be too stern with teenage pranksters. Some say most of the best cops could have gone either way in their youth. I don't know about that,...

https://www.policemag.com/373893/confessions-of-a-teenage-vandal
Equal Justice Under the Law?

If ending corruption is the real goal, let's apply all the regulations equally across the board. I can support mandatory financial disclosure for all...

https://www.policemag.com/373732/equal-justice-under-the-law

Any suspect, who may feel cornered, may unexpectedly turn and ambush pursuing police officers. Situations for possible gang-ambush traps may spring from...

https://www.policemag.com/373548/how-gang-members-ambush-officers


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