Cultures

Sheriff Baca: Yes, Latino gangs killing blacks

Fox 11 reporter John Schwada has posted quotes from a video where Sheriff Lee Baca tells a mostly black audience in Compton that some Latino youths are indeed killing African Americans based solely on their race. From Schwada's blog:

LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, on April 4th, told a largely African-American audience in Compton that when Latino gangs are at war with black gangs over drugs and turf they are sometimes satisfied to kill any young black living in their rival’s territory in order to flex their criminal muscle...

Fox 11 News obtained a videotape of the remarks Baca made to the National Association for Equal Justice in America; those remarks, taped by Lonzo Williams, a cable TV talk-show host, were included in a Fox 11 story that aired Friday (April 10) as part of our continuing coverage of the murder of Jamiel Shaw, a promising LA High School football player, allegedly killed by an 18th Street gang member on March 2.

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Here is exactly what Baca told the African-American audience in Compton: “I don’t say it’s all but there is a percent of these Latino kids killing blacks because of a race-related motivation. That is my opinion.”

Pretty explosive stuff. And then Baca went a step further, claiming his deputies had overheard jailed Latino gang bosses (so-called “shot-callers”) telling their followers on the outside that, in a feud with a black gang, it was okay to kill any blacks to make their point. “We’ve heard when the person out there can’t find African-American gang member to shoot, the shot-caller says: ‘Then shoot any African-American you see.’” (Jamiel Shaw's father was in the audience that day and Baca looked him straight in the eye when he made these remarks; but the sheriff did NOT specifically say if he believed Shaw’s murder was racially-motivated).

Baca’s observations put him at odds with LAPD chief Bill Bratton.

Also today: The Atlantic's blog The Current runs a commentary from Conor Friedersdorf arguing, in the wake of the Shaw murder, that Special Order 40 should be amended to let jailers verify the immigration status of prisoners and deport those who are illegal.


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