Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: gangs


NORM DICKS: Streets safer, thanks to congressman

Congressman Norm Dicks has been a fantastic leader for our region. We of the prevention and community safety world want to acknowledge him, as well.

In 1989, Dicks responded to the call of law enforcement leaders and Safe Streets to bring together federal agencies to organize efforts to reduce and prevent the extreme proliferation of gangs. With his leadership for criminal justice and prevention funding, residents were able to take back their neighborhoods, rid downtown Tacoma of street drug dealing and make schools safer.

In 2009, when gangs had re-emerged, Dicks sponsored a special appropriation to fund a gang prosecutor,

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TACOMA: Sweep helps reduce gang crime

The article outlining the expense of defending 36 Hilltop Crips (TNT, 7-31), left out some key facts and misstated one.

As lead deputy prosecutor in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Unit, I can tell you that a judge did not “reject” the conspiracy theory. In fact, 24 defendants were convicted of conspiracy charges.

Twelve defendants in this sweep went to trial. All 12 were convicted, including on conspiracy charges. Defendants who went to trial are serving, on average, more than 20 years in prison. Twenty-two defendants pleaded guilty. They are serving, on average, more than 10 years in

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GANGS: McKenna bill could ruin lives

Imagine a teen, walking home from school. His neighborhood has been identified by law enforcement for its gang activity. Accused of wearing “gang clothing” (undefined), he is brought into court where he is not entitled to court-appointed counsel.

Next, he is prohibited by a “protection order” from being in his own neighborhood, from wearing the so-called gang clothing and from “directly or indirectly” being in contact with known or suspected gang members. If he violates this “order,” he can be arrested and must somehow prove he is not a gang member or face jail time even though he committed no

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CRIME: Criminal should have struck out long ago

Re: “Man linked to Crips gets 10 years, 8 months” (TNT, 9-4).

A 39-year-old man plead guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree robbery and theft of a motor vehicle. Superior Court Judge John McCarthy cited his criminal history: 19 felony convictions since 1983.

What happened to three strikes? How much of the taxpayers’ money has been spent keeping this guy out of prison? I am at a loss for words.