New laws target gang activity

first_imgFive bills aimed at halting the “tyranny of fear” enshrouding gang-infested neighborhoods in California were signed Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile on Thursday, a state Office of Gang and Youth Violence Policy was created to oversee youth- and gang-violence programs and secure federal funding for the efforts. Other bills signed by Schwarzenegger allow authorities to evict gang members who have a weapon cache in a rental building, improve and expand protection for witnesses of gang slayings, enable judges to order guardians of gang members into anti-violence classes, and encourage family participation in rehabilitating juvenile offenders. The packet of bills will also single out high-risk gang members and make it easier for the state to track them. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.There are 420,000 gang members statewide, authorities said at a news conference Thursday morning at San Bernardino High School to announce the legislation. District Attorney Michael A. Ramos estimated there are 12,000 gang members in San Bernardino County. About 1,200 of them have been locked up over the past two years, he said. In the county, the bills will be most evident in the reshaped Witness Relocation and Assistance Program, which was sponsored by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, Ramos said. Prosecutors used to pay witness-relocation expenses for three months after the trial concluded. Witnesses to gang killings will now receive six months of assistance, and an advocate will help them find a home and job and transition into a new community. The impending crackdown on gang-related activity was felt in Pomona the day before the governor’s action. On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger issued a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for the death of Ethan Esparza, who was killed the day before his fourth birthday. Ethan, whose case remains unsolved, died from gunfire Nov. 19, 2006, outside of his grandparents’ house in a gang-related drive-by. Pomona Police Chief Joseph Romero, who requested the reward, described his feelings Thursday as “elated” after he learned the news on Wednesday. “It’s important not only for the Esparza family but this community,” he said. In the Esparza case, Romero said the effects of the $50,000 reward to solve the gang-related case are hard to tell. He said in the shooting death of Andre Laurent in January 2006 at a south Pomona gas station there is a reward of more than $100,000, and “that hasn’t motivated anybody to come forward. “At this point, you know, I’m hopeful but I’m not certain money alone will entice somebody to provide information,” Romero said. There could be a variety of reasons for people to not get involved in solving the case, Romero said. “It could be people are not willing to get involved. It might be somebody knows that their loved one is the suspect and there’s allegiance to that relationship,” he said. “And, in any case, there’s always apprehension to step forward.” He would not say if detectives were close to solving Ethan’s case. “That’s something I couldn’t release. And with any case, at the start of the day you might not have anything and by the end of the day there is some lead you’re able to move on and an arrest is made. Recently, we’ve had a couple of cases that have gone like that But our commitment is this shall never be closed until we bring somebody to justice,” Romero said. There is a possibility Ethan’s killer is dead, he said. “Certainly anything’s possible. That shouldn’t stop anybody that has knowledge about this to share information,” Romero said. “The important thing is even if someone’s already deceased, while you can’t bring them into the criminal justice system, you can bring closure for the family and the community.” Romero said besides the news media, police are getting the word out about the reward through “the grapevine of the street.” Officers are talking to citizens and community groups to get the word out about the reward, Romero said. The Pomona police anonymous tip line is (909) 620-2085. Anonymous calls to We Tip can be placed to (800) 78-CRIME. [email protected] (909) 483-9378 [email protected] (909) 386-3887160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgA new anti-racism DVD will have its first public screening in Donegal tomorrow, Thursday, 14th March, at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny at 11am.The DVD was produced by Show Racism the Red Card, and is part of a new anti-racism education pack, which will be distributed by Show Racism the Red Card to schools and youth groups throughout the country.The education pack will be officially launched in the North-West region at tomorrow’s event in Donegal, ahead of a national launch event, which will take place in Croke Park next week. Pupils from St. Eunan’s National School in Raphoe feature in the new DVD and education pack, alongside Irish footballer – and Donegal native – Seamus Coleman.At the event, Show Racism the Red Card will present Donegal teacher Anita McMonagle with a plaque to mark her school’s outstanding contribution to Show Racism the Red Card over the past number of years. Ms. McMonagle is a teacher at St. Eunan’s NS.Speaking in advance of the event, Garrett Mullan, Coordinator of Show Racism the Red Card, said: “Schools in Donegal have always been very proactive in getting involved in our anti-racism education initiatives, so we’re delighted to be launching our new education pack here, and we are looking forward to a great event tomorrow.”The launch event is being jointly organised by Show Racism the Red Card, Finn Harps and Donegal Sports Partnership. Representatives from Finn Harps, Donegal GAA and other sporting bodies will be in attendance, as well as pupils and teachers from schools in Ardara, Ballyshannon, Letterkenny and Raphoe. NEW ANTI-RACISM DVD TO HAVE FIRST SCREENING IN DONEGAL was last modified: March 13th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DVDShow Racism the Red Cardlast_img read more