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Police roll out strategies against East Palo Alto gang violence

Original post made on May 7, 2013

Outraged by the Cinco de Mayo Day shooting of five people at a bus stop, East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald Davis and Mayor Ruben Abrica vowed on Monday to hammer hard on two gangs believed responsible for a surge in violence in the city since January.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 6, 2013, 7:58 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by XDM
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

One strategy that should be used is to stop releasing these criminal kids to their families after they commit crimes and get caught. THey comit crimes and get released to parents that don't care, so they go right back out and commit bigger crimes. They should be made to sit in Juvi for some time instead going right back out without punishment for their crimes.

Posted by EPA taxpayer
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

Chief Davis...your plan sounds awfully expensive. Wouldn't it be better if you took that budget and hire more police officers rather than having to ask other jurisdictions for help?

Posted by Don't-Ask-Me--I-Won't-Snitch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2013 at 8:53 am

> holistic approach to gang violence, which includes
> sit-down meetings and offers of social services, job
> counseling and other services to young people willing
> to renounce the gang life.

And how is this approach actually working, Chief Davis?

> And Abrica asked the community to continue to step
> forward with information to stop the perpetrators.

Hmm .. not exactly the same message that was conveyed to the SJ Mercury only a few days ago:

EPA Says Homicide Suspects Seldom Caught:
Web Link

Only two of the 11 homicides committed in East Palo Alto since the beginning of last year have been solved and residents' reluctance to talk to investigators is one reason, according to the city's police chief.

"In very few murder cases are there 'unknown suspects,' " police Chief Ron Davis told The Daily News in an email Wednesday. "In most cases, the detectives (and community) know who is responsible. We need witnesses, however, to come forward and provide additional evidence so we can prosecute."

Until this “no snitch” mentality of the general population is confronted, and resolved so that EPA residents understand that they are a part of the solution of rampant crime in their community-- then is there really any likelihood that this, or other similar crimes in EPA, are going to be solved?

This never-ending pocket of crime (including frequent murders) is another example of why EPA’s choice to leave San Mateo County and incorporate was a bad idea. EPA is just too small to have a meaningful economic/tax, base--necessary to provide essential services. EPA should seriously consider returning to San Mateo County as soon as possible.

Posted by Oh, Geez
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

@Don't-Ask-Me: Sure, it's easy to be living in safety in Palo Alto and question why EPA residents don't snitch. If your life was on the line because a gang knew you snitched on them, you'd be looking over your shoulder the rest of your living days. Asking the community to snitch is too much. They need to somehow force these gangs to dismantle. A gang member without his gang is less likely to be a menace to society.

I agree with XDM, that the criminals should not be released back to their homes, which are the cause for the child's issues in the first place. That's like allowing an alcoholic to live next to a liquor store.

Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

"Outraged by the Cinco de Mayo Day shooting of five people" they are going to come up with a plan and do something"
This is a great idea, but considering that this is just an extension of an ongoing problem of violent crime I think they should not be reactive but have a significant plan in place for the long term.

Posted by sharinne
a resident of Community Center
on May 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Nice idea but its a war zone over there in EPA. Its getting worse day by day...
They are animals those drug thugs....

We need stiffer patrol and possibly war artillary over there to stop the drug/crime war over there. Its THAT BAD!!

Posted by Don't-Ask-Me--I-Won't-Snitch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

> Asking the community to snitch is too much.

Really? Well, let’s start with a slightly more dignified term: “cooperating with the police”. “Snitching” sounds so “ghetto”, wouldn’t you agree?

As someone old enough to have been drafted into the US Military to fight in Vietnam—where “cooperating” with the US Military could mean losing your life, or having your village burned to the ground—it’s a bit much for me to listen to you whine about having to “cooperate” with the local police to help clean up your town.

No matter how hard we slice and dice our Vietnam experience—we have to admit that “the bad guys won”. And now you tell me that the “bad guys” are winning here on the Peninsula because people like you won’t call the police and help to identify the criminals that terrorize your streets.

Even though I still hang my head in sadness. because of our failure to convince the US Congress that the effort to stabilize South Vietnam was worth the effort—I hang my head in disgust when someone claims that “it’s too much” to expect the people of East Palo Alto to help create a safe and orderly place to live.

Shame on you!

Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I work in the schools in EPA, and most of the people there are wonderful. They are good families who care about their children. It really is a tiny subset who are causing all the problems.
Today about 2 pm there was a police action at a house on Alberni. When I drove by at least 3 people -- 2 male, 1 female -- were in handcuffs in the front yard. The police are doing their best.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Statistically it's a VERY small percentage of a city's population committing the majority of the crime. When this small percentage are aggressive, organized & violent people, many in gangs, *not* snitching can keep you safe & alive. It'd be lovely if people could just pick up & move while retaining their job, in order to stay safe, but it's simply not the case.

Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm

What was the point of not naming the two gangs responsible for the recent rash of shootings?

Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

@Hmmm - I would deeply appreciate if you could kindly check the following link, bottom. I think this was the first article addressing this issue.
Web Link

Posted by Don't-Ask-Me--I-Won't-Snitch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

> The police are doing their best.

Maybe they are, maybe they're not. The issue here is whether the people of EPA are doing their best to work together to rid the town of a clearly disruptive criminal element?

Not cooperating with the police hardly suggests that they are.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Village Fool, yes that was the first PAO article about the incident.

Don't-Ask, you aren't influencing anyone to drop a dime w/your Vietnam stories & judgmental attitude on a PA-based message board.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

Drones ? Video cameras ?

When the gunfire detection hardware pinpoints a shot fired ... why can't we get some drones or strategically places video cameras to home in on it and start taking pictures and following cars. This last shooting right in front of the McDonalds is a place where all kinds of innocent regular people hang out trying to catch the bus or waiting for the red light.

This is like something I would expect to see in a TV show like "The Wire" not read about in the heart of Silicon Valley.

I realize the "D" word conjures up all kind of civil liberties worries, but until these rampaging murdering thugs are gone from the community aren't there more important things to consider?

Posted by tony
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

Adding more cops and allowing the to city intervene, hardly sounds like a solution to a problem that roots deep in colonialism and white supremacy. Police will only help to further racism and racial profiling, one in which will target youth of color and increasingly more than likely incarcerate youth into our prison-industrial complex. We are not solving the problem. We keep trying to make quick fixes to problems that run deep in economic inequality, racism, xenophobia, state violence, and other dominant forms of oppression. Its apparent that gentrification and policing seems to be the only solutions bourgeoisie white folks can come up with. They never seem to connect consume consumer capitalism as the perpetual tool of destruction to our communities and planet.

Posted by bummer
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by some guy
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

My plan would be to simply arrest the gang members. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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