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November 13, 2019

Police defend effort to smash gangs

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019. 6:13 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: For the last few months, police have rousted members of various gangs City-wide simply for their alleged associations with criminal gangs.

While quite a few have pleaded guilty, often with long-established rap sheets, they have mostly gotten off with fines.

The Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act makes provision for such arrests, and today Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that he and the Police Department enforce that law, which they did not help create.

But the Commissioner explained that it was necessary, not to “criminalize” youth, but to get at those who are “hell-bent about being a gang member and make the lives of our law-abiding citizens miserable. Those persons, we have to find a way to root them out of society. And so we use the law to charge them for the ‘gangbang’, hoping that the court is going to put them in prison, where they belong.”

Commissioner Williams said that those admitted gang members who are trying to reform will continue to be assisted through Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) with counseling, guidance, and other tools to help them make the change, and so it is not a matter of a wide-cast net.

Before laying charges, Williams reminded that Police thoroughly investigate subjects’ lives and activities, looking for evidence of gang ties and involvement in large-scale crime.

 

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