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D.A. Asks to Stop Release of CA Cop Killer Suspect Report

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 18:50

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office requested the L.A. Board of Supervisors continue to keep secret a report that details how closely probation officers supervised a gang member charged with the murder of a Whittier, CA, police officer, reports KFI AM.

The Board had considered making the report public last week but were advised not to do so until County attorneys could discuss the matter with the Supervisors in a closed-door meeting.

After that meeting other County officials said prosecutors asked the Board to continue to withhold the document out of concern its contents could affect the future court proceedings against the accused killer, Michael C. Mejia, whose tape-recorded confession was already played in open court.

Mejia was under County supervision by probation officers when Whittier Police Department Officer Keith Boyer was shot to death on February 20 at the scene of a car crash.

A second Whittier Officer, Patrick Hazell, was wounded in the shootout that happened hours after police said Mejia murdered his own cousin in East L.A.

Mejia has pleaded not guilty.

The secret report is said to detail how carefully the probation officers kept tabs on Mejia, an admitted gang member, and why efforts were not made to impose a more significant consequence for his repeated arrests in the 10 months between his being released from state prison and the murders, County officials have said.

 

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Portland Police Bureau to Halt, Purge All Gang Designations

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:48

Portland, OR, police next month will end their more than 20-year-old practice of designating people as gang members or gang associates in response to strong community concerns about the labels that have disproportionately affected minorities, reports the Oregonian.

The Police Bureau recognizes that the gang designations have led to "unintended consequences'' and served as lifelong barriers for those who have shunned the gang lifestyle and tried to get jobs, said Acting Tactical Operations Capt. Andy Shearer.

Leaders from Black Male Achievement, former police Assistant Chief Kevin Modica, and others have lobbied to end the designations.

"Gang violence isn't going to go away. There are still crimes attributed to known gang sets. There are still criminal gang members. That doesn't go away because we don't have a gang designation,'' said Capt. Mike Krantz, who helped spearhead the change. "We're not pretending gang violence doesn't exist. We're just taking this one thing away.''

Krantz said Friday that the Police Bureau has considered ending gang designations for two years as gang enforcement officers met with parole and probation officers, community members, and others to figure out the details. They recently got the approval of former Chief Mike Marshman and current Interim Chief Chris Uehara.

The new policy will take effect Oct. 15.

 

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CA Legislators Debate Classifying Antifa and Right-Wing Radicals as Street Gangs

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 15:46

Berkeley, CA, Mayor Jesse Arreguin has called “Antifa,” a street gang, and said police should start treating protesters in the anti-fascist movement accordingly.

Legislators in Sacramento have also advanced resolutions that would treat violent acts committed by antifa movement’s enemies — white nationalists and neo-Nazis — as terrorist acts under state law.

As forces on the extremes of the nation’s ever-widening political divide continue to battle with fists and weapons on the streets of California, law enforcement officials and politicians have started debating whether these extremist groups should be classified as street gangs.

Such a designation could give law enforcement new tools to combat the groups. Numerous laws on the books give authorities the power to restrict the movements of gang members and enhance criminal charges against them.

But such a move raises legal issues because unlike with traditional street gangs, the underlying motive of these extremist groups is political expression rather than criminal enterprise, the Los Angeles Times reports.

 

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2 St. Louis Gang Squad Officers Shot

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 16:28

Two police officers with the gang squad were shot and injured in downtown St. Louis Friday afternoon, and the suspect was on the run, reports Fox News. One suspect was reportedly in custody. It was not clear if this was the suspected gunman.

One police officer was shot in the leg.  The other officer was shot in the arm and leg.  Police say the male and female officer are in stable condition but it is not known how severe their injuries are, reports FOX 2 in St. Louis.

According to a tweet by the St. Louis Police Department, "Two Gang Unit officers were patrolling area of 14th/Cass when they spotted person of interest. When they turned around, suspect opened fire."

Around 3 p.m., the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed they had one suspect in custody and a second suspect was still at large. A description of the at-large suspect has not been released, reports KMOV.

Interim police chief Lawrence O'Toole said, "Our officers do a wonderful job...this is the type of individual they encounter on a daily basis. These officers are heroes."

 

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