Tag Archives: Gangs

Valley group reaches out to gang members to stop violence



PHOENIX – To some gang members, kids in south Phoenix are potential recruits. But to the people behind Project TRUCE, they are the future, and a catalyst for peace in a neighborhood riddled with gun violence.

“It’s probably one of the things that keeps me up at night, when you see a 4-year-old throw up a gang sign,” said Advisory Board Member Deborah Kidd Chapman, who teaches children from her neighborhood to follow a productive path.

“I learned a lot on those streets, and I learned a lot about what it means to make good choices in your life,” said Chapman. “When I was given a do-over, I said I would try to direct children to make positive choices in their lives.”

Valley group reaches out to gang members to stop violence



Anti-gang rally being organized in south Phoenix

PHOENIX – Some residents of south Phoenix are trying to take back their neighborhood by taking on gangs.

“If you go one block to the east it’s the Latin Kings, if you go west it’s the Crips and the Bloods,” says 16-year-old Antonio, who lives near 27th and Southern avenues.

The problem of gangs in inner cities is nothing new, not even to Phoenix. But people who work with kids say it’s getting worse.

“It’s sad,” says Tyllisa Randolph, who works with kids at a local recreation center.

She explained many young men are intimidated into joining a gang for protection and if they won’t they will have to face the consequences, meaning those same gang members may attack the kids who refuse.

“Why do kids feel like they have to join a gang for security when all they have to do is talk to an adult or find an outreach program,” she says.

Residents in south Phoenix are organizing an anti-gang rally for October 30th at 19th and Southern avenues, hoping to ban together to fight the problem.

Antonio says he’s lucky to have a strong mother that tells him right from wrong.

“I listen to the right people and I know joining a gang will either get you to jail or dead.”

via Anti-gang rally being organized in south Phoenix.

Cop, 2 suspects die during drug raid shootout

 PHOENIX, Ariz. — At least one police officer and two suspects were killed Wednesday when a gunbattle erupted during an undercover drug operation in Phoenix, police said.

The shootout left two other officers wounded and two other suspects hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries, said Sgt. Steve Martos, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Two more suspects were detained and being questioned, Martos said. A seventh was being sought.

All three officers were from the Chandler Police Department. One was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, authorities said. One of the wounded officers was in critical condition at the same hospital while the other was in stable condition.

The names of the officers were being withheld until their families were notified, authorities said.

via Cop, 2 suspects die during drug raid shootout – U.S. news – Crime & courts – msnbc.com.

Police and gangs anger south Phoenix residents

Clarence Harrington III and Anthony Harrington, 53-year-old brothers who are renovating a south Phoenix house, are split.

“We all want a place where we can feel at home,” said Clarence, who wants more uniformed officers on the street to deal with open drug sales and other problems. He added, “As a community, we need to address and deal with problems that perpetuate the problem, like substance abuse . . . and job training.”

But ongoing police crackdowns, Anthony said, mean that regular people are constantly pulled over or questioned by police when they aren’t doing anything wrong.

“The police know all the drug dealers, they know all of the hot spots,” said Anthony, during a break from yard work. “But instead, they make it hard on everyone. They could do it in a different way.”

For Jackson, the mistrust now means she’d rather avoid police altogether.

“Let me die,” Jackson said. “Don’t come to my house. That’s how bad it is. I don’t trust them at all.”

via Police and gangs anger south Phoenix residents.

Cops & Color, Part 2 | Police Ridealong and Preventing Stereotypes

PHOENIX – We spent an evening with two Phoenix Police officers, as they patrolled the streets of south Phoenix.

In south Phoenix, if you are riding a bike you’re a drug dealer. Anywhere else, you’re just riding your bike. Wear a doorag, it’s a fashion statement. In south Phoenix, you’re a gang member.

Through our coverage of Phoenix Police and race issues, we’re trying to come to a better understanding of the stereotypes and tension officers and citizens both encounter.

via Cops & Color, Part 2 | Police Ridealong and Preventing Stereotypes.

Operation targeting gangs nets numerous arrests

by Michael Ferraresi – Feb. 6, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic Authorities say gang investigators in the past week arrested 23 of 34 people accused of fueling a prominent street gang known as one of the more-violent groups in south Phoenix.

The arrests and indictments were announced Friday.

Police arrested 118 gang associates in addition to those indicted.

The operation targeted gang members and associates involved in drugs, prostitution and violence primarily in the area between 15th and Seventh avenues south of Buckeye Road, according to police.

South Mountain Precinct officers worked with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and other organizations after they noticed a spike in drug-related activity in the area.

“When you get down to the street-level guys like this, these are the ones terrorizing the neighborhoods,” said Phoenix Councilman Michael Johnson, a former police officer.

via Operation targeting gangs nets numerous arrests.

A friend’s admission adds to Kenny Wheaton’s grief

By Rachel Bachman, The Oregonian

November 26, 2009, 5:00PM

View full sizeThomas Boyd/The OregonianRobbie, the older brother of former Oregon football star Kenny Wheaton, visits the grave of their younger brother, Derrek, almost every week. Derrek was killed 12 years ago this month at age 19.As a taxi dropped Kenny Wheaton at his childhood home in Phoenix, cars clogged the street. It was late 1997, and an early morning phone call brought the news that something had happened to Derrek, his younger brother. Wheaton caught the first flight from Dallas, where he was a rookie with the Cowboys.

Three-day series

Kenny Wheaton's interception during the 1994 Washington game was a turning point for University of Oregon football. But his lasting impact may be on a smaller stage.

Day 1: The middle son, Kenny Wheaton excels with his close-knit family.

Today: A fateful night and painful admission shape Wheaton's beliefs.

Day3: Back in Eugene, a football star focuses on making life better for others.

This series was compiled from a visit to Kenny Wheaton's hometown of Phoenix, Ariz., extensive interviews of family members and friends, and hundreds of pages of court and police records.The beloved former University of Oregon football player waded into a nightmare. Neighbors filled the lawn, weeping. Wheaton's mother squeezed tears from swollen-shut eyes. His father sat in the backyard, slumped near the concrete basketball court he had installed for his sons.

Wheaton found and hugged his older brother, Robbie. Kenny doesn't remember anyone telling him, but he knew. His younger brother, Derrek, a 19-year-old so cheerful that people called him “Sunshine,” was dead.

The details came in fits: Derrek had been speaking to his girlfriend on a pay phone outside a nearby 7-Eleven when she heard gunshots on the other end. She raced to Robbie's house and banged on the window, and he sped to the store. He arrived to see Derrek face-down on the pavement and bleeding, surrounded by spent bullets.

Steps away sat the Nissan Altima with Oregon plates that Kenny's parents had bought for him in Eugene, the gas nozzle still plugged into its side.

The horror ricocheted around town: Derrek Wheaton, a standout athlete who had won a defensive award hours earlier at his junior-college football banquet, a polite young man who had tended for months to his ill mother and had a scholarship offer from Oregon, was gunned down from the back. Police said the shooters thought he was someone else.

Kenny Wheaton is best known for his 1994 interception against Washington, which helped spark the golden age of Ducks football that continues today. But he has been shaped%

via A friend’s admission adds to Kenny Wheaton’s grief | The Ducks Beat – OregonLive.com.