Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The New Hate Crime

From Newsweek (July 17, 2006, p.29)

A Gang War With a Twist

Gangbangers in L.A. on trial for deadly hate crimes

Kenneth Wilson was murdered looking for a parking spot in Latino gang territory. Driving in the working-class Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park in 1999, the African-American man passed a stolen van filled with members of the feared Avenues street gang. Seeing Wilson, one of the Latino gangsters asked: "You wanna kill a n----r?" according to one gang member who has become an informant for federal prosecutors. "F--- it!" the others agreed, as three of them barreled out of the van and gunned down the 38-year-old.
Was Wilson killed because he was black? That's what federal prosecutors in L.A. contend, and they're taking the unusual approach of prosecuting four of the Avenues gang-bangers under a civil-rights-era statute and a hate-crime law based on the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. The men are on trial in a high-security courtroom, charged with a six-year conspiracy to enforce an alleged gang "policy" to intimidate blacks into steering clear of predominantly Latino Highland Park. Kenneth Wilson was killed "because the Avenues had promised each other ... that they would drive African-Americans out of the neighborhood by threats, by force, by murder," prosecutor Alex Bustamante told jurors in his opening statement.
The heart of the case against Gilbert (Lucky) Saldaña, Alex (Bird) Martinez, Fernando (Sneaky) Cazares and Porfirio (Dreamer) Avila—a fifth Avenues gangster is still a fugitive—will come from the testimony of three former gang members turned informants. The informants will attempt to connect the defendants to a series of two dozen assaults, threats and intimidations between 1995 and 2001—including the murders of two local black men, Chris Bowser and Anthony Prudhomme.
Defense attorneys acknowledge that their clients were members of the Avenues, a gang with roots reaching back four generations. But they maintain that the violence was part of gang life, not a vendetta against blacks. "It wasn't racially based," said attorney Mike Shannon, who represents Cazares. Already, the defense team is trying to discredit the informants, pointing out that they have been granted immunity: Jesse Diaz and Jose de la Cruz, who is serving a life sentence for Wilson's murder, are both in state prison and are hoping to receive reduced sentences in exchange for helping prosecutors.
Meanwhile, two of the defendants are already serving life sentences. If prosecutors have their way, all four will be behind bars for life—making the streets of Highland Park safer not only for blacks but for everyone.

I don’t know, but it seems like a hate crime to me. Why is it that these stories receive so little news? Black people are being terrorized in California by Hispanic gangs and yet the news ignores it. I would love to hear as explanation as to why.


Blogger betmo said...

me too.

Sun Jul 16, 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Don't you know that only white people are capable of racism?

I'm sure this was just an "isolated incident." *rolls eyes*

Mon Jul 17, 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Betmo, it just seems ridiculous. This is not the first time I have posted about Hispanic on black crime and when I do I notice two things. First, although the stories are rare the statistics show that these crimes are not rare at all and in fact quite frequent. Second, not only doesn’t the media care, but it seems like people who read this blog don’t care either.
So Brooke, maybe you are right, if it is not white on black crime no one cares.

Mon Jul 17, 07:49:00 PM  

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