Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dallas street gangs: 59% Hispanic, 39% African-American and 2% other

Richard Abshire:

It began with a question.

"What clique do you claim?"

That's what 16-year-old Jacob Orta was asked before being beaten with a baseball bat, stomped and left to die on Kingsley Road. He was later run over by a hit-and-run driver.

They yelled the name of their gang as they attacked Jacob and a friend who had gone to a store for early-morning snacks.

This month, police say, gang members clashed at a house party on Perdido Drive. Five were shot.

But it's not as if Garland is awash in a rising tide of gangbangers.

In fact, after an alarming 12 percent increase in gang membership citywide in 2005, when Jacob's was one of two gang-related deaths, police logged an 8 percent decrease and no gang-related murders in 2006.

But gangs never seem to go away altogether.

And when they're bad, they're very bad.

"Every community has some [gang] membership and some activity," said Lt. Mark Dillon, commander of the Garland gang unit, a six-person team that works with the city's neighborhood police officers and school resource officers to track gang activity and identify offenders.

Police say there are a dozen or so street gangs in Garland, the five largest boasting memberships from 121 to 407.

The Garland gang unit looks at officers' field interrogation reports for such factors as age, behavior, the number of reports, signs and symbols, tattoos and statements made about gang membership.

Dress used to be a key factor, but fashion has overtaken it. Baggy pants and oversized shirts are now a staple among high schoolers and hip-hop wannabes.

Lt. Dillon estimated that the city's 1,438 gang members identified in 2006 are 60 percent Hispanic, 30 percent black and 3 percent Asian.

Sgt. Mark Langford of the Dallas police gang unit said the more than 80 street gangs in that city run about the same: 59 percent Hispanic, 39 percent black and 2 percent "other."

In 2006, Garland police reported 659 gang-related arrests and another 476 arrests of gang members for offenses that were not specifically gang-related.

According to police, gang members commonly get involved in residential burglaries, burglaries of motor vehicles, auto thefts and assaults – usually on one another. Their drug involvement usually entails using or trading among themselves.

Garland street gangs are less territorial than in other places because in the Garland school district, youngsters from a particular neighborhood often go to schools all over Garland, Rowlett or Sachse. Gangs sometimes form around the schools themselves. In other cases, the draw of family, friends and neighbors is the deciding factor. Garland police are seeing second-generation gangsters now.

Lt. Dillon said the signs usually start showing up in middle school, at age 13 or 14. Most active street gang members are from 17 years old to their mid-20s. After that, they usually either burn out or wind up in jail.

"If you're doing crime from your mid-teens to your 20s, it's hard to avoid incarceration," Lt. Dillon said.

In March, a jury convicted Agustin Aviles, 26, of organized crime in the attack on Jacob Orta, a first-degree felony that could mean a life sentence.

One alleged assailant is still at large, another has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing and four more are awaiting trial in the case.

According to prosecutors and police, Mr. Aviles admitted he was a member of a Garland street gang.

In the shootings on Perdido Drive this month, Garland police arrested Jeremy Cotton, 18, on five counts of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury. If convicted, he could face a sentence of five years to life and a $10,000 fine on each count.

When some street gang members come home from prison, they are what Dallas Sgt. Langford calls "field associates" of prison gangs, which means they are expected to help provide drugs and other favors to members still in prison.

"One of the things we've noticed in the last couple of years is cases where the prison gang membership basically supersedes local gang membership," Sgt. Langford said. "It's almost dual membership. They won't 'dis' what they were."

According to Michelle Lyons of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, there are a dozen major gangs active in the state's prisons.

According to Ms. Lyons, as of last month there were 9,513 inmates in Texas prisons who were confirmed gang members – 53 percent Hispanic, 27 percent black and 20 percent white. That may sound like a lot, but they made up only 6.2 percent of the total inmate population of 153,059.

The prison system offers a gang-free prison unit to help inmates get out of gangs and stay out.

But there are no gang-free cities, although many don't have gang units or police officers in schools that are trained to recognize the signs. Some cities don't classify any crime reports as gang-related.

Lt. Dillon knows better. "The gang problem would go away here," he said of the statistics, "if we didn't try to deal with it."

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At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dallas street gangs are 96 % white
2 % hispanic 2% jewish
quit lying to people

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hispanics got diz shyt.
and black da rest iz bullshyt
south side<(^

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1220.LRMSX3.: fuk with it ma nigga

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will nikkah::b'z up::
all bout dat red rag ..

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the first 2 are dumb its more black the other races just wanna fit in

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dnt really see nun but hispanic and black shytz bein ggang nikkahs.
so all u wana be white boy gangstas jejeje! jux kno dat u will alwayz be a wana be nomatter wat! ::blood:: bytch!

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

90% hispanic, 5%black,2%white..da rest are gay ass bytchez..
reppin dat red 2 ma nikkah ::ck:: all daway!

At 9:32 PM, Blogger salasmiguel1388 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no bitch more like 65%hispanics 30%black 5%white the rest are gay an fuck northside all bouth the Xlll.:Southside13:.Xlll fuck red

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

59 bounty hunter east Dallas FucK south side 13

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck all whit niggas

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck all white niggas

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an idea, why dont you leave the gang and move? Are you keeping it real "nigga" Lets have a contest, which gang can ruin more lives?

Gotta keep it "real"


At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my nigga u slobks r stupid as fucc nigga rxch r0llin 60's runs diz shit cuhh nawf dallas hoe ass niggaz till i die

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

say sum hoe ass slobk wat up cuhh.. u bkloodz aint shit i wee u yall run...... meet me right thur on martin luther king jr. at the car wash we be mobbin deep cuhh. cum cathc a round slobk ass niggas

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:00pm be thur tnight blood yall aint both that life its west side piru blood wass poppin nigga

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

E62t Cide e62t c062t nhood crips 6200 blk dieruK snoovaK girlyK moldyK spickK SlobK CripK on set LOCIN sc64k pb38k fl36k on CRIp


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