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Monday, August 08, 2005

Gang Violence and Crime: In the Lynchburg Area

We have listened to comments about graffiti, "is just kids having fun." We have asked why doesn’t Lynchburg have a graffiti abatement plan? We have reported on the gangs in Lynchburg, we have also seen that marginalized.

It was reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney William G. Petty, another commission member, said he "doesn't think much" of the state laws that now allow a prosecutor to try to prove gang affiliation by way of clothing or other characteristics.
"We've got guys running around with red-and-blue handkerchiefs hanging out of their pockets, and they call themselves Bloods and Crips. But they're no more a part of the L.A. organization than I'm a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution," he said.
"There is no way, in my humble opinion, that any judge in my jurisdiction is going to buy the idea that just because the L.A. Crips have committed murders, drug deals and everything else that those . . . criminal acts are going to be attributed to some guy with a red handkerchief in his pocket" in Lynchburg, he said.

When we look at this quote on the face, we wonder if the Richmond Times Dispatch twisted his remark to make impact. Yet, what we note most from this quote is a type of frustration, maybe rooted with the judges on the bench. In the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s most recent press release,we see that frustration becoming more visible. When a Lynchburg Judge made a ruling to allow a woman who threatened her child with a knife, he released her from a six month sentence on the condition that she behave.

And, we are wondering in the long run, is Lynchburg going to keep looking the other way with developing gang activity. Granted these are not the LA Crips. But should we deny the existence of hybrid gangs that assume their names. The lasted incident Sunday morning in Concord, left four injured after a shootout between two groups that the police reported as gang related. That term “gang related” is increasingly heard in the press, by the police, and in our local courts. When are we going to pay attention to how gangs are degrading our community? When are we going to act to break the back of these drug organizations that are bringing crack, meth and violence into our community?


At 11:10 PM, Blogger Diva said...

I live in Richmond and I'm friends with a local cop. According to him, the crips and bloods here are, indeed, affiliated with the gangs you hear about in larger cities like L.A. Apparently there is a whole network, like a fraternity, where if you're traveling you can find your fellow gang members with your secret handshakes and gang dances. Socially speaking, it's an interesting study. But it's also frightening.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comment. The biggest problems with gangs in our area, is their influence is not readily understood. Lynchburg needs a comprehensive plan to deal with gangs from both law enforcement, and community programs. We intend to continue posting articles on gangs and how our community could respond.


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