Post Number: 768
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 2:59 pm: || |
It appears that that there are many in-the-know Southwest Detroiters on this forum and I'd like to pick your brains about gangs in SW Detroit. I am somewhat of an innocent about gangs and their signs and activities, but I am increasingly interested. I have lived in SWD for more than 20 years and I don't remember seeing so much tagging previously. Additionally, a guy was executed near my house in December, a car was shot up, that little kid died over tagging in February (shot by a 14 year-old with a semi-automatic) and there is more shattered auto glass in the street than ever.
Is the gang situation worse, or is it my overactive imagination? Any thoughts on what should be done?
Post Number: 5736
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 4:11 pm: || |
Does any know about Pablo Bonilla?
Growing up on Lawndale St. between W. Fort and Woodmere St, a long time ago he used to start a Hispanic Gang named the Detroit Kings. They rule all of Springwells Village sub-division with a iron fist, pushing and wiping out other SW Detroit barriohood gangs. Later Bonilla got out the gang thanks to G.R.A.C.E. an program started by local SW Detroit churches to get kids and adults out of gangs and back to reality. Later Pablo Bonilla left SW Detroit to pursue to new lease of life without getting killed.
Post Number: 278
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 5:50 pm: || |
SW Detroiter here. I agree with SWMap. I think that there is much more tagging than ever before and gang activity is on the rise. I see all the same things you've mentioned. I've been here 18 years....
Post Number: 529
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 6:29 pm: || |
SW Detroit has always been the spot for Gangs, Crackheads, alcoholics, and Prostitutes for years. It's nothing new. However, it was just been hush hush in the past 10-15 years.
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 7:17 pm: || |
Shortly after I moved away, a young relative of mine joined the CFP - or Cash Flow Posse - which I understand was pretty notorious. I believe this was in the Vernor/Springwells area. He wanted out and finally had to move away in order to stay alive. I have no idea what would be the best course of action to take regarding gangs. They are beginning to form in this microscopic little southern town where I live now. I do not believe there is any way to escape them. That is not to say that I believe we should turn a blind eye... I simply do not know of a solution.
Post Number: 1338
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 7:45 pm: || |
Cops with automatic assault rifles, security cameras on every block, legalize drugs, no mercy courts and prisons.
I have zero tolerance for gang activity. If they wanna get into shootouts with the cops, just make sure the cops are armed to the teeth. Kill every last one of them for all I care.
Post Number: 219
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 8:51 pm: || |
I gave a ride home to a co-worker who lived in South West, and as we were driving he would say things like "here you need to put your cap on backwards"..."here you need to wear red"..."Now you have to put your cap back to the front in this area".
Post Number: 23
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 9:24 pm: || |
I have recently been privileged to begin the long, long process of restoring historic Fort Wayne. As I take Fort Street from Melvindale to Livernois damn near every day to do so, I can tell you that the gang graffiti is something to behold, especially from Woodmere Cemetery to Green. Yes there is certainly much, much more. When I was younger and lived in Melvindale, it was the Latin Counts, Cashflow Po$$e(as previously mentioned), Darkside and YBI, just to name a few. My parents are both buried at Woodmere along with my grandparents, so it is really hard for me to understand this sudden "takeover". In the early 90's, while visiting my dad's grave, mom and I watched a shootout in Patton Park. We quickly left, and not having a cell phone, I tried to use the phone just across from the cemetery-the handset was there, but no wire to the box! WTF!!!
My grandfather had a place on Pitt and Ingle, just down the street from St. Gabe's parish and up until the late 80's it was still cool. Swam at Patten Park pool every Saturday, and never had a problem.
Everything changed radically in the 90's. Some people around there just stopped caring(or were just plain scared, and I believe(although it's just my opinion) that when the Fort and Green precinct closed-up, the rest of the area just slid off the end of the shovel.
My wife(all 4'-11", 100lbs) of her, just hits the locks at Schafer and refuses to look anywhere but out the front window. She even yells at me if I point out my old "haunts" along the way! At 6'3" and 215lbs., I'm not too concerned, though(unless they start shooting!)!
Even cops with autos and full body armor aren't going to help!! Surveillance cameras would help, but I fear that they would just shoot them off the towers that they were mounted on for kicks!
What really needs to be done is what Kwame said in his speech-people need to keep calling and video-taping or writing down descriptions/license plate numbers and dates/times of crimes to help out. We need to take back our streets and re-own what is ours. I'm tired of seeing the countless piles of trash, filth and decay that I see every day. He said that in his day, his mother didn't call DPS-she MADE them go out and pick up the trash!!! Imagine that!!! What happened to hope and owning what is yours? The apathy is just incredible!!!!
No matter what, Detroit is a great city! We just need to care more, get involved more and not get discouraged. We will prevail if we all just pitch in. If we feel defeated and just give up, it will only get worse.
Post Number: 627
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 10:07 pm: || |
Plymouthres pretty much summed up the reality in SW Detroit. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy solution. The ONLY solution is to come down hard through the justice system, along with supplementary education assistance and job assistance.
I mean ..... let's face it, if you present the young and vulnerable population with a positive path, good education and stable employment leading to a decent life worth enjoying - you've already made a pretty strong case against the negative life of crime, drugs and gangs. Obviously, there will still be a few who decides to walk down the wrong path - and hence the need for tough criminal justice intervention. I agree with Plymouthres, the people and everyday Detroiters within these neighborhoods need to reclaim their stakes.
Post Number: 25
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 10:42 pm: || |
Being in gangs is about having a support network. Without strong families, churches, school groups or other networks, gangs will always flourish. I have no answers, but I know the psychological reasons for the increase in gang activity will not be solved by putting them in prison with other gang-bangers.
Some gang "wannabes" I have met think that it's the BEST to be in a gang. They can bully other kids, threaten, do whatever they want and not many will stop them because they are too afraid.
And today's economic climate makes it necessary for parents to work many hours to support their families, mostly leaving kids unsupervised. In my humble opinion, that's why gangs, child predators and other illegal activity involving children flourish.
Post Number: 4195
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 10:47 pm: || |
Why does it same gangs are more popular in the Latino community than other communities?
Post Number: 654
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 11:00 pm: || |
That is a question that has been bothering me for a while too? Look at LA, Houston, Chicago, all have gang problems and all have a lot of Latins, I dont get it. Gangs in the rest of the city is almost unheard of, most I knew growing up thought that shit was stupid. But moving weight thats another story...
Post Number: 43
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 11:11 pm: || |
It's really sad to hear about this in my old neighborhood especially when I just read about the renovation of the Patton Park Pool. I've read nothing but good things about how the Hispanics have really made a good difference in the Vernor Hwy. area after it really hit the shits in the 1980's! I grew up in the area on Logan, Gartner, and Wendell from 1958 - 1970.
Post Number: 244
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 11:59 pm: || |
I'm surprised no one's mentioned SUR13 (Sureños, they wear blue colors, if I remember correctly) whose main rivals seem to be the Norteños. Haven't seen much stuff around here from the Nortenos; I think SUR13 mainly beefs with Latin Counts.
I'd prolly say that yeah, gangs have been around for awhile but are growing a bit more visible in SW simply due to the graffiti aspect of it. Now that it's "cool" to do graffiti, everyone picks up a can and tries it. I've seen tons of their scrawls on the freeways, down in the cuts going over artistic work, and the alleys in SW are full of it.
(Message edited by Sticks on April 04, 2007)
Post Number: 4197
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 12:14 am: || |
That BAMN activist was murdered not long ago down there. I suspect that was by a "gang" of sorts since the guy was surrounded by a bunch of guys in red.
The good thing is that these "gangstas" stay in their own neck of the woods. The police in most suburban cities simply wouldn't stand for this shit.
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 12:29 am: || |
Some friends of mine started clearing some trash and debris from a vacant lot in my niehbourhood, with thier own trailor and equipment after two trips to the closest dump site on Concord and E. Grand Blvd. They were told they could not dump any more. That they believed they exceeded the 1000 pound limit for the day. I hope they dont get discouraged and stop. I think it was a great idea and plan to help in the future. Does anyone know a legal way of getting around this 1000 pound limit?
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 12:34 am: || |
Sorry that last post should have probably had its own thread, but I thought of it after reading Plymouthres' post.....Again I apologize.
Post Number: 535
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 3:02 am: || |
Mayor Sekou and Patrick, your questions may be a stereotype to an extent. Whites had gangs (and still do) although most were popular in the Post WWI era, there was still semblance of some activity in the Post WWII era and even today.
There are several possible reasons why Gang activity is more prevalent in the "neighborhoods of minorities"(including black and latinos). People have been trying to stop them for the past two decades. One of the main reasons gangs started to congregate is because of the Crack/Cocaine epidemic and everybody claiming their own land to claim their own money and "enjoyment" off of it. Also, it could very well have been the civic services in these areas around and how they affected the people (such as lack of patrolling and what not). Mostly, I always thought it was a family thing.
Post Number: 3299
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 3:28 am: || |
There was a surge of gang activity in the early nineties, then it died down as the economy got better and the gangbangers got killed off, went to jail, or got jobs in the improved economy. Is it any surprise that as the economy has worsened, there has been a surge in gang activity? (This is a national trend, and parts of Los Angeles and other cities are also dealing with a surge in gangbanging.
I used to think this was a modern trend, until I met a neighbor who moved back to SWD to care for her elderly mother after being gone for decades.
This woman grew up in SWD in the fifties and talked about how dangerous it was to walk home from Holy Redeemer because of a gang called the "Blades" and the female counterpart, the "Bladettes"
This at a time when there were few "Latins"
in SWD. (There were no Greeks, Visogoths or Phonecians either)
Old problem, new twist.
Given the rotten economy, and the dysfunctional school system, I'd guess that things are going to be difficult for a while.
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 6:21 am: || |
"Escape from New York" comes to mind, Snake Pleshkin always had it right...
Detroit and its varied areas has always been very competitive... Purple Gang, Warrendale,West Side Posse...whats new.
I think of it as a given when visiting Detroit, I live in Plymouth but travel to and visit in Detroit daily...
Detroit City and area is a very hard reality and requires very hard thinking...
Post Number: 481
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 6:29 am: || |
The good thing is that these "gangstas" stay in their own neck of the woods. The police in most suburban cities simply wouldn't stand for this shit.
is this a bad thing???? Are you saying Detroit police *stand* for it?
Post Number: 83
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 6:59 am: || |
I think crime and criminal behavior is big business Globally, Detroit just a microcosm of it all...
Haves and have nots, the perfect solution for the have nots is gangs, brotherhood, comraderie,crime, a perfect outlet to satisfy the inner beast.
I think this is why we have so many gangs, it is social balancing of a sort...
re SW Detroit specifically, in't it a matter of Demographics...?
(Message edited by chuckles on April 04, 2007)
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 9:05 am: || |
We moved to Detroit in June of 2004 and lived there until 02/2006.
The neighbors that lived right around us were very pleasant; the homes that were occupied were well kept. There were very few children (families) on the block.
We have a girl and I never saw kids playing outside. For the most part it was older couples (older than me-I’m 50)
There were several homes across the street from us that were vacant. In fact the last three homes on the block were empty.
The number one reason we moved out was the gunfire that we heard, which we heard @ least once a month, multiple reports, which sounded like it was right next-door.
Strangest thing was there were never any consequences of this gunfire. By that I mean I heard no screaming that someone had been shot, no police sirens, no police cars, nothing.
After a while I really thought this was someone (or a group) simply firing a gun off for no reason, not shooting at anyone, just shooting for the heck of it.
News Years Eve sounded like Baghdad.
Other tidbits were all the stolen cars that were dropped off in the middle of the night. For the most part these cars were up on concrete blocks and the wheels were stolen. Every time that happened I would notice that people just driving by, walking by, or on a bicycle, would steal something off of the car until the police arrived. Door panels, the rear seat, you name it, the car was stripped.
Other vehicles would be dropped and burned to a crisp.
I am pretty much a daytime person and never saw any gangs,at least that I was aware of.
Right under 75 (Pleasant street) was a favorite location.
We lived @ Fort and Schaefer.
Post Number: 71
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 9:59 am: || |
One great way to control gangs and to steer kids away from that lifestyle is to cut off the allure that draws them to it. Namely...money. If you cut off the money then you control gangs.
How do you do this?
Make all drugs legal and treat them as a controlled substance similar to alcohol and cigarettes and tax the crap out of them. How many hip hop songs have you heard talking about how growing up, the only people in the neighborhoods they knew who had money were the gang members and drug dealers?
If users can get there drugs from legitimate sources then they won't bother dealing with gangs and the pushers who operate in association with them. Without this source of income, the gang members just become one more regular person in the neighborhood and not a member of "organized" crime.
THere would be other benefits too. Instead of using police and other law enforcement resources fighting the "war on drugs", police will be able to shift that manpower to other needs. Also, the tax revenue generated from legitimate drug sales could help fund programs to help addicts deal with their afflictions as well as better fund law enforcement.
I think this could be the smartest policy the city/state/country could follow.
Post Number: 1184
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:02 am: || |
Another way would be to outlaw money. Make everyone use debit cards for every purchase. Every transaction could be traced.
Post Number: 72
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:04 am: || |
That's a bit to 1984 for my blood. Big Brother doesn't need that much info.
Post Number: 25
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 10:27 am: || |
Wow! I didn't think that it was proper (note:PC) to mention that a majority of these gangs were Latino! Although this is true, it is also true that you don't have to be Latino to be a low life. I agree with many here that it is an across-the-board problem, not just Latino!
Everyone here has the understanding that it's the punks, not nationalities, that are doing this.
I also do not believe that there are a large number of punks doing this crap. If you look at the tags, especially between the underpass at 75 down to Livernois on Fort, they are mostly the same graffiti artists. Although I am no art critic, it appears to be the same group of people doing the tagging.
Vernor Hwy. is totally different than Fort Street for some reason. Perhaps the presence of Holy Redeemer and St. Gabes parish are the reason, I don't know. Funny you don't see that "art" in the Arab section of town!!
Having spent the majority of my military career(1981-1984) doing drug interdiction raids throughout Mexico and South America, I will admit that there seems to be a different attitude about the preciousness of life to some in the Latino community-there doesn't seem to be much of a care whether they live or die.
Take Delray for instance. Although it is quite run-down, there are streets that are somewhat "pristine"(kept-up)compared to the next street over. Take South Rademaker school, for example. I made the mistake of making a wrong turn and ended up going down Rademaker last night just before dark. Going down the street facing the school were many, what I would consider to be for the area, nice houses. The owners had them cleaned up and looking decent. On the backside of the school is a nice playground and there were many, many young kids(all nationalities, from what I could See!!) enjoying the amenities. However, the school is boarded-up and abandoned!! The next street over reminds me of some of the hovels that existed in the most remote parts of El Salvador!! What's up with the "board-up and abandon" theory we see so much of? Someone needs to make landowners accountable, or exercise the right of "Imminent Domain"!!!!
Club Boss is right:lack of police presence is the problem. This is systemic throughout all of Detroit. It's not that they don't care, it's that they don't have enough of them to do the job properly, and the thugs take advantage of that! I would bet that if you had a cop car roll thru there every once in a while, things would start to get under control again. In the last month and a half, I haven't seen ONE cop car on my way there or around there AT ALL!!! The cops could make a difference, but you could probably do better with the Army for the first few weeks!!! At least they wouldn't be dying in droves for someone else's turf!!!!
By the way, before anyone gets on my case, my dad grew up on Solvay just down from the fire station on Jefferson. His family ran a small grocery store in front of the house and my grandfather worked in the foundry at the Rouge. They were Armenian, and they had just fled the persecution of the Ottoman Empire and the genocide that had perpetrated against the Armenian people. My dad was a boxer, and he never, ever was threatened in any way in the neighborhood. At 6' and 230lbs, I don't think anyone was stupid enough to tangle with him. He claimed that everyone got along, due to the one thing they all had in common-they were all poor!!!!
You go and help clean up, my friend!!! Take it back one yard at a time, one street at a time, and don't let anyone tell you you are not making a difference. By "showing" them what you mean through your actions, you will make a greater impact than anything. As for the 1000# limit, I bet a quick call to the mayor's office or an e-mail to them will get you the "waiver" your looking for. Kwame, despite the negative things we read, is trying to help out. He and the Rec. Dept. have been very supportive of the grass roots effort at the Fort! As my dad used to say, you never will find the answer until you ask!!!
Sorry for the rant, but this is precisely the forum for this and is important to the comeback of not only Detroit, but the entire region. Again, we must take this great city back from the death that it has been dealt in the past. Things are changing, but you cannot eat the whole elephant in one sitting-only bite, by bite!!
Post Number: 770
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 11:12 am: || |
Plymouthres has the right spirit and good eyes. Our Hispanic neighbor are a great addition to the city. But maybe the city is changing their kids.
I know there have always been gangs in SWD - I taught at Holy Redeemer and altho my teaching years were after the heyday of the earlier gangs, I heard all about them. Then, in the early 1990's new gangs came in. Some of my former students died in those gang wars. I saw tagging that I had never seen previously.
Then it died down. But now, tagging is back with a vengeance and I see gangs of kids sauntering down the street with visible baseball bats and (maybe) invisible semi-automatics.
Every garage and the sides of houses in my neighborhood is covered with some kind of sign. This is new - never happened before in my stable neighborhood. I have no idea when it happened - sometime over the winter. Then the execution-style murder in broad daylight in my alley. Cars shot up.
I do think that more police around must have been the factor in the previous lull - more attention to gangs.
Now, something must have changed that kids think they can walk around in intimidating gangs and no one will question them or follow them or send them home at curfew. I know that there has been a cut-back in the DPD - is this rise in gangs the fruit of that? Are we just on our own?
Is that Guatamalen killer gang in SWD? There seems to be no official answers. That's why I turned to the forum. Maybe the concerned citizens on the forum have information that is not available to the citizens from the DPD and the Mayor.
Post Number: 1131
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 2:15 pm: || |
My little brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters lives in Mexicantown. I see the tags when I walk/drive through there, and even on and in the middle school he attends. These are distinctly different tags than the ones that pop up throughout the downtown area. Downtown tags are usually a little more artistic while the SW tags are often more crude scribbles. Now despite the police precinct closing, I have noticed an increased police patrol presence in Mexicantown. Actually, it's odd for me drive down West Vernor and not see a police cruiser on patrol whether it be night or day. I have seen the signs of gangs, read tags, in SW but I have not seen or experienced any crime attributed to them firsthand. I generally regard SW as one of the safer areas of the city where there is a lot of economic redevelopment. But then I read the story about the kid getting killed over tagging and the other story about Hubbard farms in the Freep and I am not so sure anymore.
As far as bringing this gang activity and crime down, a lot of it has to do with young people not having enough strong role models in their lives. The kid who was killed in the tagging shooting had an active father and was doing well. The one who was charged apparently didn't and was reaching toward gangs to fill that void. At the same time, Big Brothers Big Sisters is in dire need of male volunteers to serve as bigs, especially in the city. It's not an easy way to combat crime, but spending an afternoon or two every other week mentoring a kid can make a big difference in keeping them out of trouble. Check out Big Brothers Big Sisters at www.bbbs-detroit.org.
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 3:10 pm: || |
As we all know, when growing up ,and throughout our youth, most of our ideas come from our peers. Nowadays since the advent of mass bombardment of TV, a huge influence on young peoples minds is what they see on TV. Then you have imbeciles like BET actually glorifyng "gangsta" lifestyle with shiny cars, black women making themselves look like white whores, "bling", and throwing wads of cash around,no wonder when they have these as role models,it just keeps snowballing, and I just can't imagine how thier children are going to mature into. Garbage in garbage out. When the father takes off,what kind of youth do you think a fatherless home can produce
Post Number: 1132
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 3:44 pm: || |
I'm not discounting the impact of mass media and the garbage that it so often embodies, but for the most part the real key is role models at home and in the neighborhood. A few responsible people in the lives of a youth so often has a much bigger impact on their behavior and the choices they make than what they see on TV or listen to on the radio or download off the Internet. Crime rates would plummet if a few thousand responsible adults in Metro Detroit stood up and became active mentors to kids who don't have much in the way of role models. This type of strategy has had an amazing impact on crime in Boston in recent years. Legalizing drugs is probably the only thing that would make crime go down more. But these people probably won't step forward. Far too many people will come up with a million excuses not to but still continue to complain about crime and how nothing is being done about it.
Post Number: 146
|Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - 3:59 pm: || |
Cultural influence is very strong for some of the gangs: where generational influence has taken root in the southwestern gangs. It has spread to locations where traditional gangs have been replaced with a more violent form. We have seen an increase in acceptance in mainstream media and a glorification of the life style.
However, the answers lie not is assigning blame but holding people accountable and changing the paradigm in the existing families. Familia is very important,and in the new Mexican gangs they view this as a extension of a cultural phenomena....we have not seen this in most cities but it is there.
I agree that mentors are needed however, we need to understand that activity is going mainstream. Cars, cribs, posse's, clothing lines this is what greedy folks produce to perpetuate this mentality.. It is way beyond survival in a new city. In small towns this is a big problem also.