News

Anti-gang coalition targets Nortenos, Surenos

Feds, state, counties join East Palo Alto police to dismantle gangs associated with infant's death

Federal, state, county and local law-enforcement agencies have joined East Palo Alto police to dismantle gangs blamed for a 3-month-old infant's killing, police announced Wednesday (July 6).

Vowing justice for Izack Jesus Jimenez Garcia, killed as a result of a feud between the Norteno and Sureno gangs on June 5 in East Palo Alto, the agencies' officials announced a concerted plan to dismantle the gangs in the Bay Area.

More than 70 officials from agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. and California Attorneys General, San Mateo County District Attorney's Office and County Sheriff, California Department of Corrections and local city police departments took part in the half-day-long conference, which was closed to the media but opened afterward for a press briefing.

East Palo Alto police Chief Ronald Davis said the collaboration is in response to the death of Izack, who was allegedly shot in the head by 17-year-old Fabian Zaragoza, a purported gang member. Zaragoza allegedly mistook Izack's family for gang members who beat him May 31 in Redwood City.

Izack's parents, Oscar Jimenez and Ivonne Garcia Lopez, both 22, were also shot but were not critically injured. Their 4-year-old son was not hurt. A 16-year-old youth is also a suspect and was arrested on weapons charges but has not been charged with the shooting, police said.

Davis said the law-enforcement agencies are holding the Nortenos and Surenos responsible for Izack's murder.

"The murder of a 3-month-old is completely beyond humanity. There has to be a response to it so that every shot caller, every leader -- regardless of whether he or she is in prison -- has to know when something like that happens, the world comes down on them," he said.

The coalition began identifying key leadership within the gangs during Wednesday's meeting, he said, and will put pressure on the gangs from Daly City to San Jose. Law enforcement will focus on disrupting the cash flow of gang leaders, whether those leaders are in or out of prison, he said.

The amount of money leaders can generate -- even from within prison walls -- can be astounding, said Kent Shaw, acting chief of the state Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, after the press conference.

"Ask the Department of Corrections how much money is on the books of some of these gang leaders in prison," he said, adding they might have $20,000 to $30,000 at any one time in a prison bank account.

Many gangs started in prisons, and San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks said roughly 20 percent of the 1,000 prisoners in that county's jails are validated gang members. There are 58 counties in California with similar problems, he noted.

The problem of how to control their activities will only grow as the state realignment of prison populations pours thousands of inmates into the county systems. Many of those prisoners will undoubtedly be gang members still working their outside connections, he said.

In response, the countywide Gang Task Force and county Gang Intelligence Unit have been focusing on the gang dismantling for about four weeks, he said. The gang task force has taken more weapons off the streets than last year and is targeting specific gang members and using intelligence gathering.

Reaching inside the prisons and on the streets, the approach will include Operation Ceasefire, a state-funded program that identifies gang members and calls them in for face-to-face discussions about their activities, Davis said. Police work to get a commitment from the gang members to renounce the gang life in exchange for job counseling, medical and social services -- or face zero tolerance and long prison terms when they commit crimes, he said.

On June 27, the department conducted parole and probation sweeps throughout the city. A "call in" is planned with Nortenos and Surenos for July or August, he said.

Munks promised that despite crowded jails and municipal budget crises, the county would not waver in its pursuit and prosecution of gangs.

"My jail is currently overcrowded, but we will always make room for these violent gang members regardless of what happens with the state realignment or the overpopulation in the jails," he said.

Gangs pose a far larger threat to communities now than when they were small, loosely organized bands fighting over neighborhood turf, Shaw said. Transnational gangs and their violence flow across borders and resemble a more Mafia-like, organized-crime power structure than in the past. The Nortenos and Surenos are extremely well-organized, he said.

That organization, and the large amount of financial resources it can generate through drugs and weapons trafficking, poses a challenge to law-enforcement agencies with dwindling budgets, the agencies' officials acknowledged.

Shaw said about $71 million from the state budget has been eliminated from the Department of Justice's Division of Law Enforcement, which could shut down the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence.

Munks said every agency has had its budgets drastically slashed. But that just means they will have to work smarter and pool resources, agency officials said.

"We're talking about millions of dollars that have been cut from our respective budgets in San Mateo County. But we have not wavered in our commitment on this gang violence, and we just have to prioritize," Munks said.

"There are some things that we are not doing in our community that we should do, but where we draw the line is when it comes to people who threaten our communities with violence and threaten our youth by recruiting them into this gang lifestyle. Regardless of how bad it gets, the No. 1 commitment is the safety of our citizens," he said.

Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns, whose officers assisted Jimenez and Garcia Lopez as they rushed to Stanford Hospital with the dying infant in their bullet-ridden car, said his department is committed to the effort.

"It shocks the conscience," he said of the events of that night. "It's not just the loss of the family but of the entire community. Just because a crime occurs in another county doesn't mean that we shouldn't contribute."

The department has taken part in previous joint operations, he said. He plans to sit down with gang task-force commanders, he said.

"Crime knows no borders. Whether it's violent crime or gangs or drugs, they transcend jurisdictional boundaries," he said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by forArizonaLaw
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2011 at 1:56 am

Deport all illegal aliens and secure our borders and ports now...Problem Solved.


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 7, 2011 at 7:58 am

Public Safety as a whole must get over the 'fear' of being accused of racial profiling. Tell it like it is and get the job done. And I agree, deport all illegals
and seal our borders. The children of illegals born in this country should not be given automatic citizenship. The statistics in the maternity wards in San Diego, Los Angeles, Texas, all the border states - even Illinois are off the chart. The welfare load in California and the US is off the chart. So is the prison population. The latest wacky proposal for California is to allow people to register to vote by computer!! The privilege of voting is already full of holes.


Like this comment
Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

So great reporting Sue. This is excellent news and I would love to get some video of this effort! We'll have to see if we can collaborate and produce something.

This kind of community effort is key to solving the ills of the city of EPA. Thank you for telling us about.

I'm not quite sure what "lol" meant but I'm sure I disagree with his/her comment very much. We all know that by and large, the folks of EPA are terrific. Their criminals use guns and knives to settle their disputes. White collar criminals that work at places like Goldman Sachs are much more clever! But there are criminals every where... just putting that out there, lol.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

Good luck with that. For these gang members, going to jail is just a feather in their cap, raising their respective status in the gang world. Deporting gang members, many of whom are legal citizens, won't work either. The gang violence is a Darwinian system to ensure that the gang member's culture always has a place where they can afford to live, since no one in their right mind who has any choice would ever live there. Think that's a stretch? Ever hear the about turf wars?
Something far more drastic than jail and deportation is going to have to happen to stop this plague. Extremism breeds extremism, I'm afraid.


Like this comment
Posted by Scott
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I think it's great that the police departments have some good new ideas to try against criminal gangs. It's a shame such a tragedy as the shooting of the innocent family couldn't have been prevented. Let's hope these new ideas work.

What's troubling about the comments from AZ and Bob is how unappologetically racist they are. It's amazing that such comments can be made in these times.

Those in the country illegally are for the most part otherwise law abiding folks who don't need to steal. They feel like they've won the lottery just to get what seem like decent wages for hard work. The stats I've seen show the rate of crime among them is lower than among natural born citizens.

As far as illegal voting goes, The argument seems to be that if someone sets up a voter registration table in an area where hispanics congregate, then registration of illegal voters is occurring. How would the commenter know if the people in a parking lot are illegal immigrants, let alone whether someone is committing a criminal act by registering them? This is just racist paranoia!

Sealing the borders is no more possible than holding back the tides. We spend a fortune on it already. We could spend ten times as much, bankrupt ourselves, and still not get a sealed border. (Not that I think it's a particularly good idea.) "Just seal the border. Problem solved!" As if!


Like this comment
Posted by End-Gangs-Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

> San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks said roughly 20 percent
> of the 1,000 prisoners in that county's jails .

And how many of the 1,000 prisoners are illegal aliens? Failing to establish this key point is another reason the Weekly is not providing "quality local journalism".

We have a horrible immigration problem in this country; the media has failed all of us by not providing his sort of information to the public.

If these people are here illegally, then we should be asking our government officials why they are here, and what will it take to get them returned to their home countries?


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The ease of uncensored communication from prisoners to the outside must be stopped. Originally it was established that a prisoner-attorney conference was private. This was expanded, mostly by judicial fiat, to almost unrestricted communication. Time to go back to restricted, censored communications for all prisoners.


Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Mike
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I'm loving this bunch of half-truths weaved into all these statements… I need to chime in

Deport all illegal aliens and secure our borders and ports now...Problem Solved.
- Sometimes the most simplistic solutions are the most absurd. Why not the Nuke em all comment? Neither show any forethought.

" Deporting gang members, many of whom are legal citizens wont work"
- Where is the basis of this factualized statement? You should not be deported because you're a gang member, you should be deported because you either entered this country illegally, or have a "green card" and have violated the laws governing the risk of deportation (misdemeanor or felony, etc.). If you're a gang member, you should just simply be shot on site.

"We have a horrible immigration problem in this country; the media has failed all of us by not providing his sort of information to the public."
- Huh? Is it the responsibility of the media to tell you... how many times?.. that the immigration issue is a problem? Even so... what would that resolve? Don't you already know this?

"...They feel like they've won the lottery just to get what seem like decent wages for hard work. The stats I've seen show the rate of crime among them is lower than among natural born citizens."

- you can take stats and make them mean anything. Not saying it is true or is not true. This is a huge half truth. Just because you wave a lottery ticket in someone's face does not give them the right to break the law to get it. Say they steal your car to complete the last leg of their journey. Shall we overlook that as well?

On Stats though, If you take a bunch of people, who are here illegally, and group them together in a field and give them a job picking lettuce and broccoli... whatever I'm referring to the hard working albeit "illegal" labor force, nannies, car washers, Home Depot parking lot attendants, and others as well. What sort of crime rate would you expect? Do you think they rob each other? There will be bad actors, but relatively few. However, if you were to be following the infiltration of MS13, Nortenos, Surenos, and other fun gangs that wouldn't hesitate to decapitate you or shoot your babies, just for disrespecting them by a look, that's a different geographic, and different group. if you don't believe me, I can, but wont send you links. THAT percentage is WAY up. so if you're going to go throwing stats out and making yourself sound like you know what you're talking about, look at the real picture, and spare me the bleeding heart non-resolutionist attitude. This is not about offending someone, or a race, this is a matter of life and death for many and national security. Come up with a real solution, I challenge you.

"Sealing the borders is no more possible than holding back the tides. We spend a fortune on it already. We could spend ten times as much, bankrupt ourselves, and still not get a sealed border...."

Another defeatist attitude. Sorry but this is ridiculous. Securing our boarders is a matter of national security. It is not racist. If Scott were to migrate over to Mexico illegally, and try and be citizenized there, buy land, etc., nope.. it don't work and he'd get tossed into a jail with no key for quite a while. If you design something right, deploy it, it will work. the fence is going up just fine. When you waste tons of money arguing over it, of course you will never get anything done. The "but is may make someone upset" argument is sickening and one-sided, for the Mexican gov't don't feel the same way at all.

What should be understood about the illegals in our city, county and state jails, is that the immigration issue is a Federal issue. Not a state or county one. Therefore all illegally entered persons in city, county, and state jails should be turned over to the Federal prison system and let them deal with housing or deporting decisions. That would resolve a HUGE state monetary burden just there. This can be done tomorrow.

On the voting.. well no one ever asked me for my citizenship papers to register, no one checked, so I assume anyone can vote based on that. So that's just a total mess, period. It has nothing to do with racist paranoia, which at times, I truly enjoy.

I am glad EPA finally decided to address the 900 lb. gorilla in the room, and work to rid this nice town of the menace that infiltrated it. The EPA Police have quite a job ahead of them, they are good cops too; I hope they get all the help they need. I am truly saddened that it took a few rounds into a baby's skull before anyone took it seriously enough to do anything about it. I so mourn for the parents that have to deal with that, for it is evident that they were among the innocent. Its also so unfortunate to see this heinous crime was carried out by a teenager; yet another life is wasted. I haven't heard if he was legally here or not, it don’t matter, hang 'em high. He didn't have to do that. I had seen this coming for a while. Now... its time to deal with it head on.


Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm

"The ease of uncensored communication from prisoners to the outside must be stopped."

Good, at least one person on this thread understands what is really going on: These gangs take their marching orders from inside our state prisons. Until the state prison administrators/guards are allowed to control the joint, nothing will improve on the streets of places like EPA.

This current sweep in EPA is just like the many sweeps in the past. It will take it down for while, but them it will come back. Until the state prisons are controlled, there is no hope for a real solution.


Like this comment
Posted by help
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm

You are violating our rights


Like this comment
Posted by wanna understand
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

"You are violating our rights"

?


Like this comment
Posted by forArizonaLaw
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

To Scott,

Race was never mentioned in my comments. This is what I said:

"Deport all illegal aliens and secure our borders and ports now...Problem Solved."

Besides, these are not races we are talking about, they are gang banging terrorists of different nationalities (that hate America). The ones they are talking about here are of different nationalities. It doesn't matter where they came from, if they are here illegally, deport them.

Our Federal Government has an obligation to secure our borders and protect the States from illegal invasion. The money will be better spent to protect American lives here in California than wasting trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, securing our ports and borders would create jobs here in America.

Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution reads, "The United States shall guarantee to every state in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion."

We, legal citizens and legal immigrants of America, need to demand that our Federal Government uphold the constitution and protect our U.S. States from illegal invasion now.


Like this comment
Posted by End-Gangs-Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

> what would that resolve? Don't you already know this?

The media has become a large part of the problem by operating more in a "politically correct" mode, than not. There is no mention of illegal immigration in this article. The Weekly, or most California media outlets, will not use that term when talking about people involved in crime. We know from other sources (like US Government web-sites), that up to 25% of those incarcerated in State/Federal prisons are illegals. That statistic is hard to come by in most newspapers, or magazines, that cater to mass market media.

> What would it resolve?

Well, perhaps nothing at the moment, but if the Weekly were to begin to act like it was a local newspaper, rather than some sort of "agency for social change", then people who otherwise might not realize how many illegals walk our streets, and are involved in crimes against our citizens, might begin to "push back" against the local politicians--like Joe Simitian--who seems more interested in promoting illegal immigration, than not. With enough residents/voters concerned, we might someday get some center-of-the-road candidates elected to the State Legislature. And then, maybe there might be more reasonable laws passed that would tend to discourage illegal immigration, with the consequences of higher crime in our towns, cities and homes. For starters, State laws banning "Sanctuary" would be a good start.


Like this comment
Posted by End-Gangs-Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The Weekly article contains the following point--

> Gangs pose a far larger threat to communities now than when
> they were small, loosely organized bands fighting over
> neighborhood turf, Shaw said. Transnational gangs and
> their violence flow across borders and resemble a more
> Mafia-like, organized-crime power structure than in the
> past. The Nortenos and Surenos are extremely well-organized,
> he said.

A number of local governments have decided to tolerate/endorse illegal immigration, with its associated crime, by opting out of various Federally-initiated programs to use information technology to increase the data held in law enforcement databases, and readily transmitted via information networks:

--
Web Link

Santa Clara County Opts Out Of Federal Secure Communities Program

SAN JOSE, CA (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to opt out of the federal government's Secure Communities Program known as SCOMM.

The 5-to-0 vote came after more than an hour of public testimony that largely denounced the federal immigration initiative, which automatically sends fingerprints taken by local law enforcement agencies of arrested individuals to the Department of Homeland Security.
----

> Transnational gangs and their violence flows across borders ..

Clearly the guys with "boots on the ground" understand the problem, but ultra-liberals, like Liz Kniss, seems to be clueless, or simply disinterested in the well-being of native Californians. So, what is it going to take to get the Liz Knisses (and the other SCC Sups) to recognize that we have a huge problem with illegal immigration, that is partially reflected by crime in our communities?

How many local papers carried this cowardly action on the part of the SCC Sups? And what about the San Mateo Sups, or East Palo Alto? Is it currently participating in the "Secure Communities" Program? Will the arrests associated with this increased anti-gang activity be forwarded to all the possible Federal Agencies, so that it can be used in a timely fashion in the future? No mention of that possibility in this Weekly article.


Like this comment
Posted by brwnpridemxican
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

its funny how ppl in this country wants racism to stop so much yet they call us mexicans illegal aliens. all mexicans actually work harder than alot of americans in this country... we are not on the street begging for money - yet we take care of our own the hard way, and get no respect from it. im tired of seeing negative posts about mexicans in general. We should all work together to make this a great community for our children, instead of bringing in more negativity. i would highly like to speak in person to everyone thats against from what im saying, and see if you really would tell me all this in person. thank you!


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

It's really easy, brnpride, to ignore all the good Mexicans do, as well as just abide by the laws and be responsible citizens. Gangs do the opposite, as well all know. Moreover, gags cause HUGE problems for law-abiding ethnic groups who live amongst them, including Mexicans.
It's wrong to use the same brush to paint everyone, espec if the only thing in common is ethnic background. It's ignorant, stupid and distracting from the topic.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

It is the legally resident and US citizen Mexicans who must take the blame for the linking "Illegal" with Mexican or alien. Way back when "Los Siete de la Raza", a bunch of murderers, succeeded in making their race rather than their crime the issue, ILLEGAL aliens have obscured their criminal behavior and equated their illegal status with the legal status of others. They ain't the same. If there is confusion it is mainly the fault of those Mexicans who allow themselves to be used.


Like this comment
Posted by End-Gangs-Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm

The following hit one of the news services today --

Thousands of Calif. inmates refuse food in protest:

Web Link

A handful of inmates who live in Pelican Bay State Prison's windowless, sound-proof 6-foot-by-10-foot isolation cells say they are ready to remain on the hunger strike until they die, or until officials at the facility agree to their demands. Gang members in the prison are often placed in the isolation wing so they can't influence the rest of the inmate population. Once they're sequestered in the high-security cells, the gang members are asked to turn over information on other gang members, in a procedure called "debriefing." The prisoners say they want debriefing to end, and they also want an end to long-term solitary confinement.

"They think the debrief process is illegal--that we pressure them to get out of gangs--but I'd say we encourage them to do so," state prisons spokeswoman Terry Thornton told The San Francisco Chronicle. "Being in a gang is not good for them, and it's not good for the public safety, either."
---

Wonder if the CA prison officials will cave in, or do the job they are paid to do, and keep these people in isolation, if that's what's needed. The Daily Post carried an editorial today about cell phones in CA prisons. The Post claims that the prison guards, all unionized, sell phones to the inmates. The Post implored the Legislature to get a back bone, and outlaw cell phones in CA prisons.

Seems that there are several layers to this problem. Wonder if anyone in Sacramento, and "law enforcement" has a clear picture of what is going on in our communities?


Like this comment
Posted by End-Gangs-Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

To complete the previous posting --

--
California prison guards union called main obstacle to keeping cellphones away from inmates

Members of the politically powerful union would have to be paid millions extra to be searched on their way to work. Prison employees, about half of whom are guards, are the main source of the smuggled phones

Web Link
---

With friends like the prison guards union, it's difficult to believe that anyone is serious about getting crime under control in California.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

End-Gangs-Now, what do you mean about "what it going on in our communities"? You were writing about prisons, so I'm confused.

I truly don't care if inmates are on a hunger strike - thanks for posting the info, though - I appreciate having one less thing to worry about :-)

Oh, I have questions re gangs. I can't believe I'm asking this of a *Palo Alto-based* forum, but what the heck. Does anyone know if Nortenos & Surenos still wear colors, don't wear colors or what the deal is? What about all the thuggy looking guys in white t shirts? They have on a lot of Raiders wear. Some of them also will be in whit e shirts w/a red or blue ball cap. What's the dealio?


Like this comment
Posted by brwnpride
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
some of u should expierence the life in mexico than you would know why we are here... we are humans as much as u all are.. so please stop with this whole "go back to your country" thing... we are not going anywhere and we are here to stay! so learn to deal with it!! we just want a better life for our families and children.. not here to kill or waste our lives by being in gangs... i myself am trying to teach kids to stay outta the gang life... i preach it all the time and hate seeing kids talk or do it... im doing something about it and so should everyone in our community!!


Like this comment
Posted by brwnpride
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

to answer the white tees question is just fashion to wear a white tee.... nothing to do with gangs.... white just matches any outfit... i however am seeing a big decrease in gangs in mtn view..


Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm

"Prison employees, about half of whom are guards, are the main source of the smuggled phones"

Probably a true statement, and not a surprise to those who live next to a state prison. Guards and other civilian employees have no interest in putting thier own or their family's lives in danger, so they agree to go along with the deal. And there is a nice bundle of money to be made.

Until the state prisons are fully controlled, throughout the joints, the gangs in places like EPA will continure to thrive. All of the public relations events by the police and city officials and nice next-door liberals will fail.


Like this comment
Posted by ohno
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

@brwnpride

Hug the thug


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I support going after these foreign gangs. It is unacceptable to come into another country and commit crime.


Like this comment
Posted by absurdlaws
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Americans have a vast set of laws,of which a large set of those are unneceesary.So when a person commits a small incident,he would be put into a jail for it.Now we have the overcrowded jail population which then turn them into true gangs.Anything,if we over use it or correct it,it will go back to haunt us.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm

The reason for the white T-shirts(and white underwear as well)is that most jails do not allow inmates being processed-in to keep any underclothes with any "colors" on them. Underclothes with colors are confiscated and stored with the other street clothes the new inmate was wearing when they were arrested, to be returned if and when they are released. If the underclothes are white, they get to keep them to wear under the jail issued coveralls or uniform. In jail, everything has some value, even sheets of paper. A decent pair of boxers is a prized item. Prison is different, a lot of amenities are allowed and obtainable(tobacco products for example), so the same practice may not hold there, but when you are first arrested, you go to jail, not to prison, and everyone is more comfortable wearing underwear rather than not, especially under ill-fitting coveralls. If you always wear white t-shirts and white underwear, when you are arrested(and as a gangsta you expect you will be at some point), you are ahead of the game, and you will always have some undergarments to wear beneath your jail-issued uniform.
The practice of wearing baggy pants low on the buttocks evolved from having to wear prison issued pants that were too big for the person wearing them. You got what was issued, no tailors on hand, and they don't issues belts in the slammer. It also helped inmates keep their hands to themselves because they were busy holding their pants up. It became the de-facto uniform of the convicts, a badge of distinction if you will, in the gangsta world. So all these youngsters running around with their pants drooping below their butts are just inmate wannabees.
Hope this helps you folks out there who are not jail-savvy.


Like this comment
Posted by weird
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

How can anyone have this much interest in a prisoner's underwear?


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 5:00 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

If it takes a clean room for guards, then so be it. The original clean rooms were used in gold mines, where miners going on shift would completely disrobe, then walk naked across a locker room floor and put on a company supplied, pocketless uniform for work, then repeat the process in reverse when going home. This reduced the practice of smuggling out high grade ore.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

Weird, my comments were in regard to another post suggesting that the typical clothing worn by gang members and gang-wannabees is just some sort of innocent fashion trend. It is not the case at all, much like the hand signals these gangs use, and tattoos you will see all over these people. And yes, it just so happens that this involves underwear allowed in jails. If you want to know who the bad guys are, and who is at risk, you have to be able to identify them. If you don't know that much, the next thing you know, your neighborhood/school/country is infested and you are left wringing your hands wondering how this happened and what to do about it. By then, it is usually too late for neat little politically correct solutions. If someone wears nothing but white t-shirts, they are either gang-wannabees or they are trying to be prepared for being arrested. It's a pretty good hint at the types of activities they are probably engaged in regularly. Ignore them at your peril.


Like this comment
Posted by Unaware
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

Steve C: Thank you for the clearly and creatively written information. This is stuff we should all know even though we would prefer to turn our heads and wish it away. How do you know so much?


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Unaware, I used to work with at-risk youth, and have had occasion to work with offenders. Ask someone who has spent time in the system what it's really like, or ask someone in law enforcement or corrections. There is so much we don't know. I recently heard about a woman in another state who graduated Summa Cum Laude and went to work teaching chemistry in a school with gang issues. She didn't know the signals and culture, and they ran her over(figuratively), burned her lab, got her fired. She never went back to teaching and has never been the same, lives in fear, became an addict. Sad story. People who are part of the culture that includes regularly expected jail/prison time live different lives than those who are not. For many, going to jail is like a class reunion, believe it or not. At some point, you have to wonder why we continue to warehouse career criminals, because rehabilitation is either not available, or will likely never really happen anyway, even if it is. If the communities and police want to help curb this stuff, they should be putting out regular information on all these signs and signals and what they mean. Otherwise, no one in our communities will recognize what is happening until it is too late.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Steve, sorry for my density today: Are you saying that the white t-shirts I see a lot of youth wear in EPA is inmate-derived? I knew that about the baggy pants.

What about the a blue or red ballcap? Still have significance, or perfectly innocent?

Thanks for your info - much appreciated.


Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm

There are two major reforms that would put the prisons back in control of the cons:

1. All appeals on the cons' behalf must be paid for by the lawyers (and their firms), if the appeal fails. The payment is due at each level of appeal, and the next level of appeal cannot proceed until the previous appeal is paid for.

2. A rule of silence. All the screaming and yelling, all day long, is a tactic that the cons use to maintain control. Put the prison back in charge of the environment, and then the cons will get the message that crime is a bitch.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

When someone on death row gets a full heart-lung replacement at government expense, you know something is wrong. I believe that the level of comfort of prisoners should be somewhat less that that of soldiers. I believe that medical care should be minimal, diet plain and TV basic. I believe that communication should be controlled and limited. I believe that Arapio has the right idea.
I believe that the authority of judges over prisons should be limited and transient. I believe that prison life should be boring and lonely. I believe that for the majority of crimes, 5 years is long enough. I believe a maximum of 5 years on death row, then execute or freedom.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm

This prison talk reminds me that some years ago, in a fit of I-dunno-what flavor of naivete, I considered doing some sort of volunteer prison work - can't even now recall the name of the program. Luckily, one of my LE friends had a Come-To-Jesus talk w/me about the realities of what would happen if there was a lockdown while I was volunteering. That took care of THAT lamebrain idea & I went back to doing something that is rewarding & much less dangerous - rescuing dogs, incl off the street. Muuuuuuch safer - & quieter.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm



We need to send these thugs to the old army barracks in a remote uninhabited Aleutian Island--together with the Gitmo prisoners.

Give them a supply of rice and beans and some fishing rods and let them fend for themselves.

There is no escape-it is cold and dark half the year--let them sort it out among themselves.

No cell phones, no visits, and flexible plastic spoons to eat with.

No TV or internet access--but libraries plus the Bible and the Koran.

That is the old history of Australia-it is now very a civilized country.

If the lawyers want to consult they can do it it by remote video, medical diagnosis could be easily done by remote and the access to the very few highly paid security and medical staff-- on another island-- would be be by boat--in summer--or by plane in winter.


Like this comment
Posted by mouth
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm

watch your mouth,be careful in case those thugs go after you after they are released.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Those who are released will be deported and we will have bio data to prevent them re entering

The vast majority will be reformed by the experience--and will never engage in terrorist or gang activity again

1/ because they will be very old--

2/ because they will have lost all contact with the thug/terrorist gangs and will not have been able to recruit others

prison colonies in the Aleutians is the solution to narco terrorist

This will save the American tax payer money and solve the problem for future generations


Like this comment
Posted by sons
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Yes you can deport dads,then the kids will become a new generation of thugs


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Posted by sons, a resident of the St. Claire Gardens neighborhood, 1 minutes ago

Then their children will become the inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands .


Like this comment
Posted by theend
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

where is the end


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Hmmm. Yes, the white T-shirts are jail-derived. As I said, no one goes straight to prison, they go to county first, while awaiting a court date, or at least until transfer to prison in some cases. So that is where the no colors rules first apply and the t-shirt/underwear practice is derived from. The red/blue caps on the street are the colors of the respective gangs. Prison does not allow gang colors either, so that is how hand signals and "Prison Tats" evolved.
Google gang colors and signs. There are some good sites to be found. How the hat is worn, what color, which side it is on, sports team logos, and many more gang identifiers are known. Many came about so gang members can identify one another in prison without colors or fashion coordinators. They have more options on the street of course.
It's possible a kid could unknowingly affect the colors or dress style of a gang, but it could still get him/her in trouble, beat up, or worse, shot in a drive-by, especially if they happen to wander onto the wrong "turf" by accident.
Everyone, especially parents and kids, should know these gang indicators well.


Like this comment
Posted by blacktee
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Did you actually check their underwears in person


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

Blacktee, you're not really getting the point of this conversation are you? It's about gang dress and symbols, and I'm pointing out some of the origins. Like I said, as ask a corrections officer, or someone who has spent more than a few nights in a row in the county jail.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Thanks, Steve - the info is helpful. I'm aware of the jail-prison process, but I've been confused because I see a lot of white t-shirts w/jeans or slacks, and worn by kids w/out gang affiliation as well as kids I don't know. I thought it was more of an indication of neutrality, NOT being affiliated.

I've also watched visitors going to a respectable neighboring house wearing I think white t-shirts & colored b-bal caps (I don't recall if red or blue, at this point, or how worn) & that struck me as something to check out. The other thing I see are kids wearing lotsa Raiderswear - but I've heard this isn't necessarily a gang affiliation. Sheesh, & I thought women had so many fashion rules to keep up on...


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

Hmmm. I agree it's difficult to tell whether we're just seeing typical fad-clothing trends or something else. I expect partly it depends on where you are seeing it. Still, many of the clothing examples you mentioned are known to be gang-related, for example the Raiders-wear, so I would pay attention to where and when you are seeing it at the very least. When in doubt, check it out with your local law enforcement people, let them look into the trend.


Like this comment
Posted by Carlito Waysman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

It is troubling when people get killed just by wearing red or blue, and I believe that the law should be applied with all its might on the individuals that are members of a gang and their individual rights eliminated.

For the ones saying that deporting all illegal aliens will solve the problem? Just think about it, who is going to build all the fancy homes in Palo Alto at a cheap price? The Home builders would cry foul, when their profit margins shrink, because they would have to pay more for a legal workforce. Who is going to maintain your luscious green yards and gardens for cheaper than you are actually paying for illegal workers? Who is going to clean your house for cheaper than you are actually paying for illegal maids? Just drive around in any of Palo Alto's residential areas, and see who does the daily work, and then you realize, that even we rant and rave about all the evils of illegal immigration, the wealthy and not so wealthy in Palo Alto love to save a buck by taking advantage of it and keeping the status quo in place.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thanks again, Steve. I've been frustrated because I've asked cops & they don't give me a straight answer, most likely because they can't. I've decided to start keep a log that I can refer back to & ask the police when I have specific info.


Like this comment
Posted by Uaware
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hmmm,

The Palo Alto Police are biting their tongues because if they say anything that sounds like racial profiling, the left-wing Palo Altans scream in horror.

I support racial profiling and am guessing most people do but just don't admit it. Really, who can walk down an alley at night past a bunch of thugs and feel no fear?


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hmmm, I expect even the police have difficulty keeping up with the latest ID trends, but I agree that political correctness probably has a lot to do with how open they are about what they know as well. And yes, one only has to look around and see who is building the homes and doing the yard-work to realize that many employers and wealthy homeowners are exploiting the cheap labor. One has to wonder why that doesn't bother anyone, to watch their fellow citizens suffer while they live comfortably. And then they wonder why we need social safety nets? My biggest question is, how are they finding only foreign, illegal labor, and no homegrown legal labor? Who is doing the networking and marketing for all these illegals? Something is going on here that isn't out in the open.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I don't support racial profiling because it's lazy. Thugs and race may go hand in hand for you, but they don't for me. I am surrounded by non-whites & the majority aren't thugs. The EPA PD doesn't have to do racial profiling, because the officers learn whose a thug & who isn't - based on their thuggery, not race or ethnic background.

Thanks for your input - it's interesting for me to note 2 things:

1- That you support illegal police activity

2- You committed an act committed by many PA residents on these boards - you made it all about you & your town, not about the subject of this thread

So I'll be equally self-interested here: I'll stick to the subject, which involved my PD & not care what your PD does unless it violates the civil rights of innocent residents of my town. Honestly, I have a hard time w/the guilty residents of my town getting their civil rights violated - that just doesn't matter that much to me.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Hmmmm. I assume that your last comment is directed to me, I guess. I don't think I'm advocating that police do anything illegal, if you are talking about racial profiling. What police admit to in public is probably different than what they share with colleagues. That's just being sensible I believe. I imagine that when your life may be on the line, though, you tend to be more realistic, especially in the matter of identifying threats.
I only know about what I experience or observe, and that is usually in my home environment. I expect that many places experience the same problems, and Palo Alto or Menlo Park or wherever are microcosms of the rest of the country. There may be places that have escaped the gang plague so far, but I expect that they will be far and few between if we remain ignorant of the threat, and the signs. And one of the signs is a major, unmistakeable socio-economic change, such as the one Carlito mentioned. Something is up there.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

No, sorry, Steve, it wasn't! It was directed at Uaware, because s/he believes in racial profiling. Sorry for the confusion. I really appreciate your input, based on your insight & experience.

I have found a wide variety of behavior in the youth in my area. For example, this evening, some of the neighbor kids playing outside rushed over to see 2 of my dogs I was outside with. They are very curious about the dogs & asked a zillion questions. They're kids who aren't out late, play in sight of their parents, are loving and respectful w/each other & w/their elders. They have multiple generational households which means a lot of caretakers, a lot of learning & solid structure in their lives. Unfortunately, a lot of the kids around here aren't like that because their parents don't keep as much of an eye on them.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hmmmm. I think you've hit the nail on the head. It really does take a village to raise a child. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, not all families have the luxury of someone always being around for the children, because everyone has to work to pay the bills. It's one of the results of so many resources landing in the laps of such a relatively small percentage of the population: The larger percentage of the population has to share a much smaller part of the pie. The result is that the greater community outside the wealthy gated-communities becomes more jungle like. For that reason alone I fear the ever expanding wealth gap between the uber-wealthy and the average family. And fear us the operative word here. When fear takes over, all bets and normal sensibilities are off.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 69 comments | 6,690 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,033 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 898 views

Populism: A response to the failure of the elites: Palo Alto edition
By Douglas Moran | 1 comment | 832 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 798 views