Gangs And The Military 6of7


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Gangs and the Military presentation at the Northwest Gang Investigators Association , Missoula, Montana. October 2007 by Al Valdez, Ph.D. University of California - Irvine & Carter F. Smith, J. D., Austin Peay State University

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  • Gangs And The Military 6of7

    1. 1. Gangs and the Military Presented at Northwest Gang Investigators Association October 2007 Al Valdez, Ph.D. UCI & Carter F. Smith, APSU
    2. 2. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>ESTIMATES OF THE % WHO </li></ul><ul><li>ARE CURRENT OR FORMER </li></ul><ul><li>GANG MEMBERS BY BRANCH </li></ul><ul><li>Low High Mean </li></ul><ul><li>When asked whether the U.S. armed forces should discharge a soldier who is determined to be a current gang member, 59.1% felt that the military should not discharge gang members. </li></ul><ul><li>When asked if they believe that gang members are depicted as an overblown &quot;threat&quot; by the news media, politicians, and others, 59.5% expressed the belief that gang members are not depicted as an overblown threat. </li></ul>George W. Knox, Ph.D. Army 0% 90% 16.3% Navy 0% 80% 10.9% Marines 0% 70% 14.8 Air Force 0% 60% 7.8% Nat'l. Guard 2% 80% 25.6% Coast Guard 0% 50% 6.3% Army Reserve 1% 90% 19.8
    3. 3. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>27.9% had one or more close friends or associates who are gang members. </li></ul><ul><li>12.8 percent reported having five or more such close friends/associates who were gang members. </li></ul><ul><li>77.8% believed gang leaders would have made good soldiers. </li></ul><ul><li>One respondent drew a large &quot;Star of David&quot; on the back of his survey. </li></ul>George W. Knox, Ph.D.
    4. 4. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>It seems reasonable to believe that some gang members are present within the ranks of the U.S. armed forces. </li></ul><ul><li>Very little is actually known about this aspect of gangs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It would reflect what is called an adaptation of marginality: high integration into legitimate organization (e.g., the military) and high integration into an illegitimate or subcultural organization (the gang). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What side is such a person really on? No one knows, this has been the first effort reported in the literature to examine the issue. </li></ul></ul>George W. Knox, Ph.D.
    5. 5. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>Some gang members claim to join the military to learn tactics, train on weapons so they can apply their learned knowledge to their gang life. </li></ul><ul><li>Civilian street gang rivalries can be carried by gang members and ex-gang members into the service. </li></ul><ul><li>These rivalries can lead to conflict on a domestic or international military base, naval vessel or deployed areas. </li></ul>Al Valdez, Ph.D.
    6. 6. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>Gang members have used false identities to enter the military. </li></ul><ul><li>Combat Tactics from military can be used by criminal street gangs </li></ul><ul><li>Gangs have had an impact on the military, though they have not “taken over.” </li></ul>Al Valdez, Ph.D.
    7. 7. Should Gang members in the Military be a Surprise? <ul><li>1998: FBI rates military number three reason for migratory gangs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal employment (GM Corp, Intel and Dell Computers Companies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal employment (general laborers, field workers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Armed Forces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1999: DoD Force Protection/Domestic Terrorism Survey rated Gangs number two concern only behind computer “Hackers.” </li></ul>
    8. 8. Can Bangers join now? <ul><li>In October 2000, the Army began requiring a national electronic fingerprint check of every recruit and must have results back on the prints before allowing the recruit to ship out for training </li></ul><ul><li>The percentage of recruits entering the Army with waivers for misdemeanors and medical problems has more than doubled since 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>The number of waivers granted for &quot;serious criminal misconduct&quot; -- felonies, mainly -- was less than 1 percent of the total for each year. </li></ul>May 15, 2006
    9. 9. Can Bangers join now? <ul><li>A spokesman for the Army's Recruiting Command said </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no policy in place to account for the increase of waivers for misdemeanors since 2001. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Army's waiver process allows people who have &quot; overcome mistakes &quot; to serve their country. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;The enlistees who receive waivers are not coming into the Army to be rehabilitated,&quot; he said. &quot;They have already overcome their mistakes.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in the criminal justice system have affected the number of waivers granted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Today, young men and women are being charged for offenses that in earlier years wouldn't have been considered a serious offense and might not have resulted in charges in the first place.” </li></ul></ul>May 15, 2006
    10. 10. Can Bangers join now? <ul><li>A CBS4 (Denver) employee went in (to the recruiter) with a hidden camera and suggested he was a gang member. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Does it matter that I was in a gang or anything like that?&quot; he asked the recruiter. </li></ul><ul><li>At first, he was told the Army doesn't accept enlistees who were gang members, but then the senior officer stepped in. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;You may have had some gang activity in the past and everything, ok, and that in itself does not disqualify you,&quot; he said. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    11. 13. Can Bangers join now? <ul><li>Each year since 2003, more applicants with records of traffic violations to felony convictions have been allowed to enlist in the Army under “moral waivers.” </li></ul><ul><li>In fiscal 2006, 7.9 percent of all recruits received moral waivers, compared with 4.6 percent in 2003 , according to Recruiting Command. </li></ul><ul><li>So far this year, more than 9,000 recruits have received moral waivers to join the service. That’s 11 percent of all new enlistees in fiscal 2007 . </li></ul><ul><li>Army officials could not say whether any gang members or former gang members were allowed into the ranks under waivers. </li></ul>
    12. 14. Can Bangers join now? <ul><li>Former Spotswood High School student (VA) pleaded guilty in connection with violent gang initiation at the school. </li></ul><ul><li>Two students were beaten after they asked to join the Crips. </li></ul><ul><li>Kenneth Gene Whitley Jr. pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors, and one felony gang participation charge. </li></ul><ul><li>Whitley’s probation is contingent upon him completing three years of supervised probation. Felony gang charges stemming from the incident were reduced as part of the deal. </li></ul><ul><li>With only one felony conviction, Whitley can still join the military, as he plans. </li></ul>
    13. 15. Fort Carson - GDs <ul><li>Gerald Ivey – Fort Carson, CO </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 16. Update – Fort Carson GDs <ul><li>When the 3rd ACR was sent to Iraq I noticed a dramatic decline in crime by Gangster Disciple members. </li></ul><ul><li>If people say that gang (members) aren't in the military that's because they have their heads in the sand. </li></ul><ul><li>I've seen numerous accounts of these gang members using tactics against police officers. </li></ul><ul><li>I'm part of a Gang Task Force. I served in the military. Now I'm a police officer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deputy William Stevens </li></ul></ul>
    15. 17. Fort Hood - GDs <ul><li>In 1999, a Fort Hood soldier, Spec. Jacqueline Billings of Milwaukee, was identified by military prosecutors as the &quot;governor&quot; of a 40-member faction of the Gangster Disciples -- many of whom were soldiers. </li></ul><ul><li>She claimed it was like a social club, like the Elks or Moose Lodge, and she called it 'Growth & Development.’ </li></ul><ul><li>She, and others, were charged with two 1997 homicides. </li></ul>
    16. 19. Fort Hood – GDs #1
    17. 20. Fort Hood – GDs #2
    18. 21. GITM - Fact or Myth? <ul><li>Newer gangs initiate younger members, have slightly more females, and comprise a much greater racial/ethnic mix. They also tend to be far more involved in property crimes and individual drug sales than in violent crimes and drug distribution, both of which are trademarks of traditional gangs. </li></ul><ul><li>Gangs are no longer only a big-city problem either, as evidenced by an ever-increasing gang foothold in suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. Places previously thought of as safe havens, such as schools and the military, also are no longer immune to gang activity. </li></ul>November/December 2002
    19. 22. GITM - Fact or Myth? <ul><li>There are indicators that gangs remain active in some military communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, reports indicate there are a small number of soldiers involved in gangs or gang related activity . However, there was an increase in violent gang related investigations . </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of subjects in gang related investigations appear to be junior enlisted and/or youthful civilian dependent family members . </li></ul><ul><li>Many communities, and the Army as well, are experiencing gang emulation of nationally recognized gangs. </li></ul>NAGIA, 2005
    20. 24. Fact or Myth?
    21. 25. DoD Family Members <ul><li>North Carolina - Christina Walters was convicted in the August 17, 1998, murders of 18-year-old Tracy Lambert and 21-year-old Susan Moore . </li></ul><ul><li>She was also tried for the attempted murder of Debra Cheeseborough. Walters, leader of a local Crips gang, admitted to shooting several .32-caliber bullets into Cheeseborough and thinking she had successfully killed her. </li></ul><ul><li>The murders were done as a gang-initiation and the victims were chosen at random. Cheeseborough survived the attack and was able to testify against Walters and two others. </li></ul><ul><li>The three were convicted and given the death penalty for their crimes. </li></ul>
    22. 26. Photo Album
    23. 27. Photographs (Paraphernalia) 314 Villn' Crips Waynesville, MO
    24. 28. Photographs (Paraphernalia)
    25. 29. Photographs (Assorted)
    26. 30. Paraphernalia
    27. 31. Photographs (Graffiti) Jeffrey Stoleson
    28. 32. Photographs (Graffiti) Jeffrey Stoleson
    29. 33. Photographs (Graffiti) Jeffrey Stoleson
    30. 34. Gangs and the Military