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NEWS: 900 State and Federal Agents Combine Forces to Tackle 42 Gang Members

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posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 03:30 PM
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In an overwhelming display of force, a 900 man task force comprised of both Federal and State law enforcement employees pursued 42 gang members Tuesday in Los Angeles. The gang being targeted is wanted in connection with the slayings of two police officers that took place a decade and a half apart. The police department has gone on record saying they want to make an example out of this gang, to dissuade others from pursuing the lifestyle.
 



www.foxnews.com
BURBANK, Calif. — Nine hundred federal and local law enforcement agents joined forces Tuesday for a raid on a gang suspected in the shooting deaths of two police officers, authorities said.

The overnight raid targeted 42 members of the Vineland Boys gang (search). The operation had netted 19 arrests early Tuesday, and officers were still serving warrants on the San Fernando Valley gang (search), Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said.

The gang was suspected in the deaths of Los Angeles Police Officer James Beyea (search), who was shot during a burglary in 1988, and Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka, who died when two men who were being questioned opened fire in 2003.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I can't help but wonder at the costs involved in this action. How much does a 900 man team cost the taxpayers? What about all the travel, logistics, etc. involved? Has the security apparatus become so engorged in America that the state can send 900 men with guns after 42 civilians with guns? That's a statement on the part of the goverment, I think it's fairly clear the message they're sending. Overkill for theatric effect, it seems.

This is terrorism, pure and simple. The State is using manpower to overwhelm criminals and send a message to people, if you break our laws we will unleash an enormous machine into your midst, it's designed to make people afraid. That fear is cultivated because it eases the process of governance, any tyrant can tell you it's easier to scare your citizens than it is to appease their every desire. This is one of those times when it is deemed acceptable to use terrorism, because we're using it against 'the bad guys'. I doubt the Shah thought any differently when he terrorized the Iranian people. I doubt the Iraqi resistance feel any differently.

This is not the first time since the New Year that the State has devoted enormous resources to fighting gangs. There are a number of bills and laws up for discussion, many have already passed, toughening the penalties for gang members and increasing the use of Federal surveillance and inteligence, including the NSA, to assist in their prosecution. I agree that it's nice to see gangbangers off the street, but I wonder if these new laws will allow the State too great a reach into our private lives. I wonder if we might all find ourselves enemies of the state in no time at all, through no fault of our own. And if that ever happens, and we have increased the State's power to insane proportions, what will we do?

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posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by
This is terrorism, pure and simple. The State is using manpower to overwhelm criminals and send a message to people, if you break our laws we will unleash an enormous machine into your midst, it's designed to make people afraid.


But how many people who live in the suburbs are going to see this story and feel the display/use of force necassary based on their pre-concieved notions of what a gang member is? Indeed, it would be very interesting to see how much airtime this story gets on the broadcast airwaves with those demographics and what type of newspaper(scoff) priority it has.......

I'll admit that my first impression of a gang is that they are a bunch of thugs who aren't good for society and deserve to have their motivations put under the microscope, but that is only my first impression. Given the context of their situation, I think there is another story behind the 900 man army........

And 900 men is alot of people to throw at a social situation........I'm concerned for the simple reason that, in the future, all it may take is a label to justify a blatant abuse of power......and I believe that day will come, if our current educational system continues......



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 01:05 AM
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I would hesitate a guess that the majority of American citizens would see this as a good thing, in a sort of ends-justify-the-means way.

I'm not sure I disagree with them, but I do question the recent splurge of Federal funds on law enforcement and the military. The patriot act, post 9/11 money got used for all sorts of strange things, and this sort of display makes me wonder how much this is a case where state and federal agencies are using their budget to avoid losing it?

If they don't spend a ridiculous sum of money this year, they might not get a ridiculous sum to spend next year. So of course they look for things to spend money on.

It just strikes me as very excessive, and this isn't the first time. Just look at the turn-out to events like Ruby Ridge and Waco, nevermind more recent debacles like the hunt for the missing girl in Aruba, or Operation Falcon. Now, that last operation seemed a 'good' (at least effecient) use of manpower, but the rest were displays in my mind.

But who pays for the displays? Who pays for all these new officers to protect us from the boogeyman? Why do we need to live in a police state to feel safe?

People are out of control, no doubt. But the government is no less out of control than the people, and I think that bears mentioning.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 01:18 AM
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I'm surprised at the negative reaction here. Terrorism? These gang members are being CHARGED with CRIMES upon arrest. Who cares how they are apprehended, as long as it's done in a safe way?

If I was a cop and someone I was questioning ended up shooting me to death, I sure as HELL would want 900 OR MORE cops avenging my death and taking down those responsible and generally getting to the bottom of things.

Hell, I'd demand it in my will.

MATTHEW PAVELKA:



Date of Birth: September 1, 1977
Date Appointed: August 5, 2002
End of Watch: November 15, 2003



The Burbank Police Department had not lost an officer in the line of duty by gunfire for more than eighty-three years. On the evening of November 15 that all changed. Veteran Officer Gregory Campbell had stopped a newer Cadillac Escalade SUV, without license plates, containing two males. The area where the stop was made was well known for drug trafficking and other criminal activity, so Campbell wisely called for backup.

The first officer to respond was 26 year old Matthew Pavelka, who had been in the field as a police officer for just ten months. When Campbell and Pavelka approached the suspect vehicle and ordered the two male subjects to exit the vehicle, they both alighted firing automatic weapons. Both Campbell And Pavelka were wounded several times, but in the ensuing exchange of gun fire the officers mortally wounded one of the gunmen, 25 year old Ramon Aranda. The other suspect, later identified as 19 year old David A. Garcia escaped on foot.

Both of the wounded officers were transported to a local hospital, where Officer Pavelka died during surgery and Officer Campbell was treated and remained in critical but stable condition.


There are countless threads on this board that contain posts questioning, "why are we spending so much money going after foreign 'terrorists' when the real terrorists are right here in the streets of L.A., New York City, Houston, Detroit, etc.?"

GANGS are a PROBLEM in America. I don't care if you know a friendly, happy gangster. Who doesn't? Gang stereotypes are strong.

Zip

[edit on 6/22/2005 by Zipdot]



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 01:27 AM
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I don't know about 900 cops and all, but if they are being charged with breaking laws, then what is wrong with it? Maybe excessive,, I would think that maybe this might cause a solidarity between the rival gangs? The enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality, and these aren't the shinest stars in sky we are dealing with so force is probably the only action/reaction they understand to use.

Reminds me of the scene in Warriors with Cyrus. Can you dig it...Can you dig it??



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 12:40 PM
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Reading between the lines, there seems to be a theme to some of the comments here that this isn't "fair play".

Why do criminals deserve fair play? Are we supposed to play a cat and mouse game, and give them opportunities to get away?

None of the news reports indicate any deaths or injuries, so it appears this operation was carried-out safely. To me, that is the most important public concern.

They will all have their "fair play" in court. You can argue whether our courts are fair or not, but that's a seperate argument.

We cannot allow the conditions to occur in this country that occur in some other countries where criminals control large parts of the major cities or the country as a whole. The favellas of Brazil are a good example of this. (Until some recent clashes in Rio De Janeiro) police have generally refused to enter these areas at all. Individuals living in these areas, as well as middle class and wealthy individuals living on the fringes of these areas (many of these areas occupy what would be considered prime property here in the U.S. - hillsides overlooking the ocean ) get their police protection from the favella mafias.

Do you want the situation in this country where you have to call in a gang for protection instead of the police?

Certainly, we have to do a better job of addressing the underlying social conditions that bring about this sort of lawlessness. But that is a long-term solution. With the right social conditions (notice I didn't say "social programs") perhaps we can raise a generation that doesn't feel it has to turn to violence and drug distribution to survive. But I doubt that anything is going to change the current gang members. However they got the way they are, there is no mistaking what they are now. Unfortunately, the only thing that they understand and respect is how big and powerful a rival gang is. I do think it's inevitable that the only way to deal with them in the short term is for the state to become the biggest, most powerful rival gang.

[edit on 22-6-2005 by Bay_Watcher]



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 12:47 PM
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terrorism !! Are you kidding me... yeah its terrorism... by the gang members who BREAK LAWS....

I'm glad they did this and I hope it happens more often !



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 12:51 PM
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Zip


I'm surprised at the negative reaction here. Terrorism? These gang members are being CHARGED with CRIMES upon arrest. Who cares how they are apprehended, as long as it's done in a safe way?


Right, that's my point. Who cares what gets done, as long as they're off the street right? That's the perception. Except, it does kind of matter, because using fear, intimidation, and strong arm tactics aren't right when our enemies use them, why are they right when we use them? Just curious...

It's only terrorism (what the cops are doing) in the loose definition of the law enforcement establishment making criminals afraid of persecution. Obviously the cops aren't strapping bombs to their chests, but that's not really the point.

I'm curious to know, how is it any different what the cops and 'robbers' are doing? They're both coming together (strength in numbers), they're both using intimidation, they're both using violence. The only difference I can see is that the cops are using violence ostensibly on society's behalf, while the gangbangers are using violence for private material gain.

So the cops are doing what they do because it's supposed to help society. So my question is, did this action help society? Yeah, it got 20 people off the streets who were accused criminals. But I think it was extreme overkill, and more a message than a necessity.



If I was a cop and someone I was questioning ended up shooting me to death, I sure as HELL would want 900 OR MORE cops avenging my death and taking down those responsible and generally getting to the bottom of things.


That doesn't surprise me, I think most people would like that sort of attention devoted to their case, but in almost every situation it simply isn't practical. 900 officers?! That seems so over the top to me...



There are countless threads on this board that contain posts questioning, "why are we spending so much money going after foreign 'terrorists' when the real terrorists are right here in the streets of L.A., New York City, Houston, Detroit, etc.?"


Indeed, and I agree with the sentiment, or at least the core of it. However, don't we think this could have been accomplished without such a huge expenditure of resources?



GANGS are a PROBLEM in America. I don't care if you know a friendly, happy gangster. Who doesn't? Gang stereotypes are strong.


I do know, and have known, a few friendly gangsters actually. They were survivalists, first and foremost, and that made them dangerous. However, no more so than most people, honestly. In my experience the younger the 'banger the more likely they'll be stupid, unthinking, and dangerous to themselves and others.

I think parents can do a great deal to prevent their children from entering that life. If a kid doesn't need 20 friends to help him survive, he won't be in the gang, he'll be doing his own thing. Gangs are an inner city survival mechanism, pure and simple.

If we want to get rid of gangs, we need to change the dynamics of survival in the city, it's that simple. Arresting 20 or 20,000 will have no real effect at the end of the day, except of course to terrorize other gang members and make them afraid of the consequences built into the system.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Bit of both I imagine...

Passer By


I don't know about 900 cops and all, but if they are being charged with breaking laws, then what is wrong with it? Maybe excessive,, I would think that maybe this might cause a solidarity between the rival gangs? The enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality, and these aren't the shinest stars in sky we are dealing with so force is probably the only action/reaction they understand to use.


I think the solidarity between gangs has been steadily growing since the mid 90's. It's at an all time high now, I'd say. And yes, they perceive the state as their enemy. Well, we certainly can't just reason with them, because they're in that life for a reason, to survive, not just for fun.

They might be bought off, but I can't think of anything other than a guarantee of safety that would get them to change their ways.

I don't think you should automatically assume they're all stupid, because it's more likely they're of average inteligence. They're just trying to survive and thrive, the only way they can figure out how.

Offer an alternative mode of survival, and you might appeal to their sensibilities. Of course some are sadistic, some are anti-social, and so on, but the majority of gang bangers are pragmatists at heart. They band together to increase their odds in a dangerous environment, and to increase the profits from endeavors like drug sales (which I don't think should be illegal).

We're chasing after these gangs for one reason and one reason only, because they sell drugs. Of course lots of people sell drugs in America, but chances are, if you're black or Latino and you sell drugs, you're going to prison. If you're white and sell drugs, you're probably in pharmaceuticals...


There's a fundamental inconsitency here, and I think fixing it will largely make the problem go away. 900 officers might do the same trick, it remains to be seen, I'm doubtful though.

Unless the prevailing social conditions change, how can we expect the mentalities to change?



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Zip


I'm surprised at the negative reaction here. Terrorism? These gang members are being CHARGED with CRIMES upon arrest. Who cares how they are apprehended, as long as it's done in a safe way?


Right, that's my point. Who cares what gets done, as long as they're off the street right? That's the perception. Except, it does kind of matter, because using fear, intimidation, and strong arm tactics aren't right when our enemies use them, why are they right when we use them? Just curious...


Because law officers are backed with LEGITIMACY. Gangsters do not enjoy this contract with the public. The use of fear, intimidation, and strong arm tactics are absolutely called for when taking down a gang.

Should the gangs not fear the cops? Should they not be intimidated by a police force? Should they not be strong armed by police? Of course they should.



It's only terrorism (what the cops are doing) in the loose definition of the law enforcement establishment making criminals afraid of persecution. Obviously the cops aren't strapping bombs to their chests, but that's not really the point.


I don't generally use the buzzword "terrorism." To me, the word holds no meaning.



I'm curious to know, how is it any different what the cops and 'robbers' are doing? They're both coming together (strength in numbers), they're both using intimidation, they're both using violence. The only difference I can see is that the cops are using violence ostensibly on society's behalf, while the gangbangers are using violence for private material gain.


Uh, yes, that is the difference. Sooo... Are we done here?



So the cops are doing what they do because it's supposed to help society. So my question is, did this action help society? Yeah, it got 20 people off the streets who were accused criminals. But I think it was extreme overkill, and more a message than a necessity.


It was partly intended to send a message. The message? CRIME DOESN'T PAY. See your brother that we arrested? Do you want to live like him, in prison? See the flashy gangster that used to look so cool rolling on Lorenzos? He's in jail now -- no more Lorenzos for him!

See what can happen when you accept a gangster life? You can end up dead or in jail. It's not worth it, pobrecitos. That's what the cops are saying.

Criminals should FEAR apprehension, period. It is a well-known deterrent to crime.





If I was a cop and someone I was questioning ended up shooting me to death, I sure as HELL would want 900 OR MORE cops avenging my death and taking down those responsible and generally getting to the bottom of things.


That doesn't surprise me, I think most people would like that sort of attention devoted to their case, but in almost every situation it simply isn't practical. 900 officers?! That seems so over the top to me...



There are countless threads on this board that contain posts questioning, "why are we spending so much money going after foreign 'terrorists' when the real terrorists are right here in the streets of L.A., New York City, Houston, Detroit, etc.?"


Indeed, and I agree with the sentiment, or at least the core of it. However, don't we think this could have been accomplished without such a huge expenditure of resources?



GANGS are a PROBLEM in America. I don't care if you know a friendly, happy gangster. Who doesn't? Gang stereotypes are strong.


I do know, and have known, a few friendly gangsters actually. They were survivalists, first and foremost, and that made them dangerous. However, no more so than most people, honestly. In my experience the younger the 'banger the more likely they'll be stupid, unthinking, and dangerous to themselves and others.

I think parents can do a great deal to prevent their children from entering that life. If a kid doesn't need 20 friends to help him survive, he won't be in the gang, he'll be doing his own thing. Gangs are an inner city survival mechanism, pure and simple.

If we want to get rid of gangs, we need to change the dynamics of survival in the city, it's that simple. Arresting 20 or 20,000 will have no real effect at the end of the day, except of course to terrorize other gang members and make them afraid of the consequences built into the system.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Bit of both I imagine...

Passer By


I don't know about 900 cops and all, but if they are being charged with breaking laws, then what is wrong with it? Maybe excessive,, I would think that maybe this might cause a solidarity between the rival gangs? The enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality, and these aren't the shinest stars in sky we are dealing with so force is probably the only action/reaction they understand to use.


I think the solidarity between gangs has been steadily growing since the mid 90's. It's at an all time high now, I'd say. And yes, they perceive the state as their enemy. Well, we certainly can't just reason with them, because they're in that life for a reason, to survive, not just for fun.

They might be bought off, but I can't think of anything other than a guarantee of safety that would get them to change their ways.

I don't think you should automatically assume they're all stupid, because it's more likely they're of average inteligence. They're just trying to survive and thrive, the only way they can figure out how.

Offer an alternative mode of survival, and you might appeal to their sensibilities. Of course some are sadistic, some are anti-social, and so on, but the majority of gang bangers are pragmatists at heart. They band together to increase their odds in a dangerous environment, and to increase the profits from endeavors like drug sales (which I don't think should be illegal).

We're chasing after these gangs for one reason and one reason only, because they sell drugs. Of course lots of people sell drugs in America, but chances are, if you're black or Latino and you sell drugs, you're going to prison. If you're white and sell drugs, you're probably in pharmaceuticals...


There's a fundamental inconsitency here, and I think fixing it will largely make the problem go away. 900 officers might do the same trick, it remains to be seen, I'm doubtful though.

Unless the prevailing social conditions change, how can we expect the mentalities to change?


I'm sure that if the 900 officers could have arrested 900 criminals, they would have. I see the small number of apprehensions as somewhat of a failure of these 900 cops. Of course, not all 900 of these cops were banging down peoples' doors - gang units in L.A. have large "research" arms, so it can be assumed that a large portion of this "900" number involved investigators sharing information.

I don't really know what to say, in conclusion. Pick your battles? Definitely. I want more to be done to take down organized criminals and I would enjoy a society that disrespected the culture rather than glamourized it, but realistically, organized crime has always been "cool," from Sicily to Chicago to New York to L.A., down in Mexico, Jamaica, and wherever else, whatever its' face, it has been associated with "cool."

Effectively altering that perception may be largely improbable.

I believe firmly that criminals should be afraid of apprehension. Should they be afraid of the police? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe a force of 900 officers causes "fear."

Maybe a force of 900 officers is something to respect.

Zip



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 09:11 PM
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Has the security apparatus become so engorged in America that the state can send 900 men with guns after 42 civilians with guns?

No, not at all. But sometimes an example must be set, and this example will hopefully send a signal to other gang members and would-be members.

42 civilains with guns????? Why would they send 900 feds after 42 civs with guns....ahh yes, I think you mean 42 armed and dangerous gang-mambers!!! There is a difference.



It's only terrorism (what the cops are doing) in the loose definition of the law enforcement establishment making criminals afraid of persecution.

Terrorism??? I did'nt know the feds in this case were after political, religious or idealogical gain. That's a new one on me


Criminals should fear the police! Are you saying they should be buddy-buddy with 'em?

Hmm, I bet if you or someone you love were a victim of these gangs (more specifically a murder victim by the gang in the case) you would be singing a different tune, crying bloody hell when the cops do not make an arrest.....asking why, why is justice not done.



So the cops are doing what they do because it's supposed to help society. So my question is, did this action help society? Yeah, it got 20 people off the streets who were accused criminals. But I think it was extreme overkill, and more a message than a necessity.

It was not overkill, do you know anything about the gangs in Cali? They are more than just accused criminals, they are murderers, thieves and pest upon society that feed off of the fear they instill in whatever community they "dwell" in. You obviously know nothing about the gangs in Cali......if you did you would totally agree that they need to be taken out....900 feds, or 50 feds....doesnt matter.

Think about the cost put upon society due to gangs. Stolen vehicles, stolen Shoes
...yes gangs still shoes...it's some kind of sick twisted fad going on. Cost of locals having to install security systems, cost of having to catch the bus cause they're too scared to walk. Cost of being literally paranoid of these gangs...that pays a huge toll on the mind.
cost etc...etc...$$$$$$$

[edit on 22/6/2005 by SportyMB]



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