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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Barrio's Other Gang

"In the barrio the police is just another gang."- Luis Rodriguez in Always Running

I tend to think I've posted a shit load on cops and the abuse of power, but skimming through my posts I realize that I really haven't. Let me get straight to the point:

I was informed that in my homebarrio, the police are targeting people I know, who then of course talk to me and let me know the situation. It'd be one thing if the cops were targeting an entire group, but they are basically harrassing a couple of individuals specifically. It seems that they feel, that these two young men (one in his late teens, but an adult, and the other in his early 20's) are the epicenter of what's wrong in my homebarrio. So much is the resentment that one or two of these cops specifically have toward these two young men, that that they've tried to get a couple of mothers to sign restraining orders against them, for the safety of their own children. Are these young men pedophiles or murderers? No, they're simply barrio boys, born and raised there caught up with other barrio boys, given they've been in trouble with the law before, but the cops are using this bureaucratic tactic because they want to get these young men off the streets, since they believe them to be a bad influence to other kids in the neighborhood. There's a lot of history between the cops and these two men. History that got one cop removed from patrolling the area, for taking a bias approach and doing sloppy policework, to try to get these "bad men" off the streets, which caught up with him in the courts when he took the stand and the public defender made him look like an idiot, which apparently isn't very hard, because cops seem to think that if "the perp" has a few tattoos and loosk like a thug, there's no way the public defender will question procedure. Well, it's safe to say some public defenders take their jobs seriously and they don't let the cops off the hook, just like district attorneys do to suspected felons.

Nonetheless a cop-friend of the one removed from patrolling the area, has made it his mission to get these men. So he has been trying to get parents to sign and file a restraining order, even though their sons are the ones that go look for these men to hold up the block. The cops prey on the fears of the mothers telling them, "They're the worst criminals in the neighborhood. They kill people. They do drugs." I know 2 mothers approached in this manner. One of them took the bait, cried and signed the restraining order. The other mother said she wasn't going to sign anything, because she knew the mother of these "bad men", and she was actually helping her with her teen sons. She would drop them off at their house, because at least this way she knew where they were, and as far as she knew the barrio boys weren't doing any harm. The cops continued to try to coerce her into signing a restraining order to help her "save" her sons. The woman refused, and the cops left her alone finally.

Now here's what the cops want to see happen, they want to see the teen that got a restraining order signed by his mother, go to the house or even just be caught posted with the other guys, so they can have an excuse to then arrest one of the two men they actually want. Even if they search the guy they want, and don't find anything, they can still keep him locked up for violating the restraining order filed by the mother. If they're lucky and either is on probation, they can keep them a little longer.

You know I have to commend the cops for being so proactive about their job, even though they are actually targeting and profiling a couple of barrio boys. They're using the bureaucracy to their advantage, but I'm pretty sure there's some law they're breaking or a lawsuit that could and should be filed against them and their department, for defamation of character, libel or slander. All that is needed is a witnesses to what the cops did, and there's 3 already, the mother that signed the restraining order, the mother that was present and they couldn't convince to sign the document, and the teenage son who has already corroborated that his mother signed the document, and there's even the document itself which can be used as evidence against the cop(s). This could probably get the specific cop removed from the neighborhood, because if it's the same one I'm thinking about, he's the aforementioned friend of the other cop who was removed from the neighborhood, which in turn shows his own bias, because he's basically trying to get payback for his friend that was made to look like a fool in the courts.

I can't say anything bad about the mother that signed the restraining order, because I think most parents in that situation would sign a restraining order against the bad influences, or the evil elememnt in the neighborhood. I mean we're always told not to have bad influences, and parents tell their kids to stay away from friends that are bad influences, so it only makes sense that she would want her teen son to stay away from barrio boys, even though technically her son is a barrio boy, who wants to hang out with other barrio boys.

Besides the cops said those barrio boys are "bad guys," so it must be true . . . right?

This is probably going to be one in a series of posts about cops and the abuse of power, because this is taking up space in my mind.

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