About the time you finish perusing this issue of POLICE, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in a gang-related case that - regardless of how it is decided - will have far-reaching effects for law officers, undoubtedly for years to come.
The term, ritual crime, is often associated with occult religion. Such crimes may include: graffiti, animal mutilations, kidnap, substance abuse, sexual abuse, child molestation, grave-site desecration and murder.
To my horror, the first sergeant told me that my son, who is active-duty enlisted with the 43rd Engineers in the United States Army, had been shot in the head and was not expected to survive.
Graffiti continues to be used as a written form of communication between street ganges. An observant patrol officer, police investigator, probation/parole officer, school teacher and gang member can read graffiti and collect valuable information about past, current and future gang activities.
Today, tagging has become an international issue and taggers can be found worldwide. From a law enforcement perspective, it is difficult, at best, to monitor and track all of the individual taggers and tag crews.
Loco wears his scar almost like a first-place ribbon. The curved line of flesh that arcs around his left, eye like a backward "c" has been his badge of honor for years, the mark of a gangster who has made it, who is not afraid to put himself in harm's way for the glory of the hood or the reputation of his gang.
The ultimate goal of a gang investigation is to find the truth. What happened? Who did it? How? As law enforcement officers, how do we arrive at the truth? What is our part in the game plan? Here are some suggestions that may be useful for patrol personnel, detectives and follow-up investigators when dealing with witnesses and victims of gang crimes.
These Chicago-based gangs follow strict dress codes and use body language as a nonverbal form of communication. A gang member can simply cross his arms to "announce" his gang affiliation.
Skinhead membership has traditionally drawn from dysfunctional working-class families, and it appears that many skinheads come from broken homes. Members can be as young as 13 and as old as 25. They typically possess average intelligence, but are often poorly educated.
The Crips and Bloods have now moved into their second generations, and traditions are being established within these gang families. The street gang lifestyle has become an acceptable way of living for some families.