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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Villaraigosa's "Solution" for LA Gang Violence

In his State of the City message this week, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined his "anti-gang" plan-even while making a preposterous declaration that "LA is the safest it has been since the 1950s"!!??!

Has the mayor been smoking his socks?

Even more incredible than that whopper is Villaraigosa's plan for combating gangs in the city. (The mayor was, himself, a gang member in his youth, when he was known by his birth name-Tony Villar.)

Now the city is devoting more money into their old tried and failed programs of "prevention and intervention". Yes, more police will be assigned to the high-risk areas and that designation will be expanded from 8 to 12 parts of the city. But the main thrust involves more feel good programs and grants to non-government agencies. People will be assigned to go into the gang-infested neighborhoods to try and convince young kids not to join gangs. To pay for it, the city is preparing to raise taxes and/or fees to its citizens.

But what about revoking Special Rule 40-or at least modify it to allow LAPD officers to grab known illegal aliens who are known gang members? Nothing about that. In fact, LAPD Chief William Bratton defiantly reiterated today in an interview with the LA Daily News that Rule 40 will remain long after he and everyone else is gone. To do anything else would amount to "Racial Profiling".

So it appears that the leadership of the city will fight to protect Rule 40 as is. Strangely silent remain LA's black activist community even in the wake of the murder of Jamiel Shaw by an illegal alien gang member. They apparently don't care if innocent black youths are being killed in the streets by illegal Hispanic gangs. Hate crimes? Apparently not in their view.

What needs to be done in Los Angeles is very simple. LAPD, LASO and ICE need to work together-on the streets, in the jails and in the file rooms. Their files need to be open to each other so that each agency can identify who is a gang member and who is illegal.

When I was working with DEA in the late 1970s in Los Angeles, I had just returned from a three year tour in Thailand. In LA, I was assigned to the Southeast Asian Heroin Task Force. In those days, there was a major problem with SE Asian heroin being trafficked into the LA area by Thai traffickers living in the LA area. Many of them were illegal aliens having come to the US on a visa and overstaying.

In our group, we had two LAPD officers and an Immigration Agent. We had access to each others' data banks. When we encountered a Thai illegal alien whom we suspected or knew was involved in criminal activity, INS got involved and started processing them for deportation. We also did this proactively-sometimes in an effort to recruit informants. In other words, we went out and knocked on doors. Did we intimidate people? Sure we did (in a professional manner of course). Was it racial profiling? Well, since it was specifically directed at Thais, I guess it was. Tough cookies.

It can be done, and it can be done legally. It is also much cheaper than the prevention and intervention programs the mayor is instituting or increasing. What is wrong with a cop and ICE agent grabbing an illegal gang member and at the very least deporting him? Chief Bratton doesn't want to do this since he wants to look out for the witnesses and victims of crime within the illegal alien community. Hey Chief! Let's remember that these victims and witnesses are the biggest victims of Hispanic gangs. Think how many lives could be saved within the illegal alien community by removing the gang members among them. No. The real reason Bratton is against revocation of Rule 40 is because the mayor is against it. Bratton serves under Villaraigosa. Therefore, he is the mayor's hack and will do his bidding.

The sad fact is that Los Angeles has no interest in eliminating this problem. It is more about race-based far-left politics. The result? Many more will die.

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