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The plea of Harrison Community Center, resident commissioner Mary Chapai appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, as the other board members blew off her concern with their suburban perception of what residents want and/or need.
After reading an article in today's local newspaper, I have now come to realize how and why the crime, shooting and killing by and/or of black men and boys will continue. Those trying to hold it down in the inner city would be reckless to believe otherwise.
Members of existing gangs banded together to protect turf
Zone 4, the latest street gang targeted by the city's anti-gun violence program, had its roots in what many thought was a good turn of events for the city, two veteran police officers say.
The notorious street gang and its rival, Bomb Squad, emerged, in part, because of the razing of Warner Homes and much of Harrison Homes during the past 15 years. They were two of the city's oldest housing projects.
"Residents were moved and wound up living together on the same street, their kids going to the same school, playing in the same area. The allegiances they had remained, but they came together as Zone 4 to protect their turf." Erin Barisch, officer assigned to Target Offender Unit, the police arm of Don't Shoot.
Zone 4 - They are alleged to have conspired with each other beginning in 2005 to use violence and threats of violence to protect their turf and sell drugs.
Zone 4 - the origin of the name changes depending upon who you talk to - came together as a response to Bomb Squad's rise to prominence.
|Western Avenue was the dividing line. West of that was Bomb|
Squad's territory. East of Western Avenue, to MacArthur Highway,
was, at one time, the turf of the P-Stones and the 4 Corner Hustlers.
"They saw Bomb Squad and came together to form Zone 4 to fight Bomb Squad. But their allegiances were still to their original group." Barisch
And it wasn't just the hard-core criminals. It was people in the neighborhood who would identify with Bomb Squad to avoid being attacked, said Aaron Watkins, also a Target Offender Unit member.
|Residents are being relocated as swiftly as possible.|
An analogy is the situation after World War II. The United States and the Soviet Union, with the other allies, had just defeated the Nazis. They were rivals who opted for cooperation against a greater evil. When that threat was gone, their old feuds reemerged.
The same thing happened with Zone 4. After 14 members of the Bomb Squad were hit with federal charges last fall and taken off the street, the alliance began to fray. A sign of that was the slaying of Trayshawn Blakely earlier this year. A fight that preceded the fatal shooting has been attributed to a spat between the P-Stones and the 4 Corner Hustlers.
|Read the entire article here...|
"It's instant gratification. The older guys, they can't control the younger ones. There is no guidance or structure like there was back in the day."Aaron Watkins, Target Offender Unit member
As a result, you have youngsters who wake up each day thinking it might be their last. "It shouldn't be that way. You shouldn't expect that you might die in the street." Barisch