… In practice, they use it to check if an individual is listed as a gang member.”Peter Bibring That has a chilling effect on young men who may have never even thought of being a member of a gang.”. Aaron Harvey learned the hard way what it can mean to be documented as a gang member. Last March, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian threw out the case against Harvey and several of the other men, finding insufficient evidence to charge them. Adults are removed from the database only if their file is not updated for five years. Curiosity is not a reason to try and find out. Those concerns, coupled with criticism that the criteria for adding someone to the database are too vague and people of color are disproportionately included, prompted the state to launch an audit of the system last summer. … (Someone) infected me with this disease; now I have it, and there’s no telling how many other people I have infected.”Aaron Harvey When someone is stopped by police, his or her identification is checked against California’s law enforcement databases for prior arrests and contacts. Short title. If we send you a request to remove our content from your website, you must agree to do so immediately. He was a 26-year-old seeking his fortune in the Las Vegas real estate industry when he stepped out of his apartment to get some lunch on July 18, 2014. Both deputies sprang out of the squad car and asked the man and his companion, a woman, to step out of the vehicle. He also has dozens of documented contacts with police. Harvey was not among them. Credit: Sandy Huffaker for Reveal. Glimpses of how CalGang is used emerge from conversations with current and former law enforcement officials, court filings and internal law enforcement documents. The ETI has proven how effective federal racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms investigations can be, whether it is providing the incentive for witnesses to cooperate or imprisoning the gang’s leaders for decades. (For example, “yesterday” can be changed to “last week,” and “Portland, Ore.” to “Portland” or “here.”). They are as young as 9 and as old as 65. Stat. “These systems are built for when they’re not.”, In California, the database holds information on more than 150,000 men and women, according to data obtained from the CalGang Executive Board through the state Public Records Act. The game is made by Boneloaf, a small independent game studio making a series of experimental multiplayer party games. Harvey now knows that information like that gathered about him routinely is fed into CalGang. “It’s crucial that there’s some form of oversight and transparency in the collection of this information,” she said. As the STEP Act was moving through the Legislature, prosecutors developed another tool: gang injunctions, which in effect are nuisance abatement suits that restrict an individual’s right to associate with other alleged gang members or move around freely in a geographic area linked to a gang. About 10 minutes into their shift, the deputies spotted a young couple in a silver Chevrolet parked under a tree in a J.C. Penney store’s backlot. Search Metadata Search text contents Search TV news captions Search archived websites Advanced Search. Follow him on Twitter: @awinston. Thumbing through the device, Garcia found photographs of him posing with shotguns and pistols, a blue bandanna wrapped around his face. But such reassurances do not sit well with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego, who said her adult son was stopped by police in the summer of 2002 while out in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter and told that he would be entered into CalGang. In August, Weber urged the state auditor to launch a thorough examination of the database and its use by state and local law enforcement agencies. How will Trump’s lax emissions standards save money and lives? Law enforcement officials maintain that the tool is critical in the ongoing battle against gangs, but it has come under fire from civil libertarians and criminal justice reformers for its secrecy, which can ensnare innocent people without their knowledge. Even after the San Diego County district attorney’s office acknowledged that Harvey was not present for the shootings, he was charged with nine counts of criminal street gang conspiracy to commit a felony – one for each shooting. Under the act, prosecutors now could seek longer sentences for people facing criminal charges who also fit 3 of 10 criteria that might indicate gang involvement: associating with known gang members, being seen in a known gang neighborhood – such as sections of Compton in the Los Angeles area, the Fillmore District in San Francisco and the Skyline area of Southeast San Diego – or wearing attire that might be gang related, such as a red San Francisco 49ers hat (Norteños/Bloods) or the blue caps of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Sureños/Crips). The Safe Streets Task Force concept expands cooperation and communication among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, increasing productivity and avoiding duplication of investigative efforts. But an attempt to extend these protections to adults failed last year. “There is a fiction of gangs being more organized than they actually are, which CalGang helps perpetuate,” he said. If you need to know a person's gang member status, be respectful and remember that gangs are … But he claims that he is not a gang member and challenged his inclusion in the database with the assistance of the ACLU. He also has dozens of documented contacts with police. If you wish to only use portions of the work or create a derivative, you need separate permission and the license and indemnification do not apply. In a state where 45 percent of the population is Latino or black, 85 percent of those entered into the database as alleged gang members or associates are Latino or black. If the officers hadn’t pulled over the duo that day, Lucio added, they would have “miss(ed) out on that information about his membership. The TX DPS TXGANG system is a database index of persons associated with street gangs as reported by criminal justice agencies within Texas. California police and prosecutors highly value the information CalGang provides, and they are concerned about efforts to provide access to the public. In emails to law enforcement agencies, association Assistant CEO Martin Vranicar wrote that AB 829 “would completely destroy the use of the CalGang database as a viable law enforcement tool.” He rallied support from other law enforcement advocacy groups to kill the bill before it reached the Assembly floor in April. CalGang’s Executive Board also declined to explain how the database is used. Harvey ended up being held without bail for eight months. The system’s first prototype, according to a report prepared by the California Department of Justice in 1999, was piloted by the San Diego Police Department in 1996 and rolled out statewide two years later at a cost of $520,000. The secrecy around CalGang and the loose criteria for inclusion in the database terrifies Harvey. “How can you attach a conspiracy,” the judge asked, “to a crime that doesn’t have a defendant?”. “I tell people that it might be a black and brown issue now, but it is going to be yours later.”Aaron Harvey A $30 million settlement was reached in the suit last week. Yet by 2013, according to court documents from a class-action lawsuit challenging the injunctions, more than 5,700 people in the Los Angeles area had been served with gang injunctions. [Statewide Organized Gang Database Act] 20 Ill. Comp. said he routinely reviews CalGang for information on suspects, though he noted that the availability of information varies from department to department. The deputy forced him onto the hood of the squad car and handcuffed him. It inevitably would produce a field information card identifying the man as a gang member, he said, “because he self-admitted and we found those photographs.” The woman also would get a card referring to her “as an associate” of a gang member. Several times during the 2014 patrol – with a Reveal reporter riding along – they stopped, searched and questioned young blacks and Latinos about drugs, gangs and what they were doing in a particular neighborhood. In the Los Angeles class action against gang injunctions, a declaration by Angel Gomez, a gang officer in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division – which includes the Mar Vista, Venice and Palms neighborhoods – revealed rampant inaccuracies in that division’s information on gang members. Check out the latest press releases, stories, videos, and other information related to the FBI's anti-gang efforts. includes accounts of how law enforcement used CalGang to identify and locate criminal suspects. Suddenly, nearly a dozen plainclothes U.S. marshals swarmed around Harvey with their guns drawn. “I tell people that it might be a black and brown issue now, but it is going to be yours later,” Harvey said. “These systems are built for when they’re not.”. Prosecutors claimed that Harvey was a participant in the conspiracy because he was, they alleged, a member of the Lincoln Park Bloods and stood to benefit because the shootings would increase his notoriety. , the bill sponsored by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, that would have required notifying adults that they had been included in CalGang and established a process to petition for removal. Credit: Stuart Palley for Reveal. § 2640/20. that AB 829 “would completely destroy the use of the CalGang database as a viable law enforcement tool.” He rallied support from other law enforcement advocacy groups to kill the bill before it reached the Assembly floor in April. As part of the Operation Safe Streets Bureau, they were expected to get a handle on gang violence in the cities of Carson and Compton. Last March, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian.

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