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The Growth of Modern Street Gangs and Police Enforcement on Gangs Name Institution Since the fall of 2001, the United States justice system has mobilized to protect the nation against terrorism. Federal states, and local governments have shifted scarce resources to the terrorist beat, and homeland security has become the new watch world in law enforcement…
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The growth of modern street gangs and police enforcement on gangs
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Download file to see previous pages The big concern is that outside the United States, terrorists like al-Qaida are not killing people, but gang violence is killing many people every single day (Larry, 2007). Like most other indicators of criminal activity, gang related homicides decreased in the late 1990s. The trend has reversed itself in the 2000s, however: between 1999 and 2002, gang violence increased by over fifty percent. According to the US Department of justice, there are over thirty thousand criminal gangs with close to a million members in the United States. A street gang refers to any group of people who form an allegiance for a common purpose and engage in violent, unlawful, or criminal activity. The department of justice further estimates that the Los Angeles metropolitan area alone is home to over seven hundred gangs, with over hundred thousand members (Larry 2007). This group is responsible for half of the city’s homicides. Like all other upsurges in violent gang activity over the past several decades, particularly in the late 1980s, the current increase is closely related to the illegal drug trade and use of firearms to protect the trade. The difference, according to some experts, is that more people are becoming involved in gangs for purely economic reasons, rather than the cultural or territorial motives that have traditionally fuelled gang membership. One in every three gangs runs drug-dealing operations. In addition, some researchers believe that some gangs have superior weapons than most police forces, making it very difficult for the law enforcers to control their activities. Although superior gangs, such as the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings and Gangster Disciples are still responsible for their share of gang-related criminal activity in the United States, a relative newcomer has gained the attention of the law enforcement community because of its rapid growth and brutality. To escape the violence, thousands of immigrants fled to the United States, particularly to Los Angeles. Their children found themselves easy prey to the existing local gangs and formed the MS-13 as a protective measure. The gang soon became involved in crime rings of its own, and the authorities responded by deporting the members - and their violent gang culture-en masse back to Central America. A large number of its members now operate in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, where they have killed thousands of people over the last decade. MS-13, in particular, has gained reputation of attacking the wives and other family members of rivals. In 2003, the El Salvadorian government responded with a legislation, which makes gang membership illegal. Furthermore, as part of operations to eliminate the gang, Salvadoran police gained the freedom to arrest anyone they thought was a gang member, often based on nothing more than suspects clothing and tattoos (Bruce 1999). This legislation led to deadly reactions from the gang in protest. On December 23 2004, some six gang members boarded a bus in the northern city of San Pedro Sula and killed twenty-eight passengers, including six children, in protest to the crackdown. The law enforcement measures have been very popular with the populace; however, gang activity dropped significant following their implementation. American law enforcement agencies cannot respond with a similar operation. Under most circumstances, the fourth amendment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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