Long Beach Asian gang article

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hitonme
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Long Beach Asian gang article

Unread post by hitonme » March 11th, 2004, 9:25 am

Everybody should check this out:

Thursday, December 7, 2001An uneasy peace By Helen Guthrie SmithStaff writer Pheng Ly,60, at left, and his son Heng 21, have a cigarette on their front porch. Heng just arrived home from prison that day, after going to prison for a year. Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram
LONG BEACH - It started in October 1989, reportedly when a carload of Cambodian youths shot and killed a 16-year-old Latino boy in another car. The racial bloodbath that followed raged for five years and claimed at least three dozen lives. The children of Cambodia's killing fields found themselves in a Long Beach killing field of their own. Today, despite two recent fatal shootings of youths, the East Anaheim Street corridor, heart of Long Beach's Little Phnom Penh, is tense but relatively peaceful. No longer are "Cambodian and Latino gangs playing a deadly game of get even," as a Press-Telegram headline said in 1991. Last week, the Long Beach Superior Court took steps to reign in the East Side Longos, one side of the Asian-Latino gang war. Sophy Ouk ,19, was killed Saturday September 20 after he and a friend were shot in the face while sitting in a car on Hoffman Avenue in Long Beach. Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram
The court issued a permanent injunction against the criminal street gang and 23 of its most active and hardened members, prohibiting them from such activities as gathering, drinking, fighting or possessing weapons in public; being on private property without permission; acting as lookouts to warn others when police are approaching; and using gang hand signs. "This is the beginning of disarmament," said City Prosecutor Tom Reeves, who got the injunction. "We will take the guns out of the hands of the East Side Longos first, and we'll go after the Asian gangs next - and we will have peace on our streets." Until Oct. 20, when Sophy Ouk was slain in the 1000 block of Hoffman Avenue, none of this year's murder cases was known to be Latino vs. Cambodian or vice-versa, police say. The 19-year-old Long Beach City College student's death was followed Nov. 2 by that of Chhavarath "George" Chheav, 16, who was gunned down in the 1000 block of East Anaheim Street. George Chheav, 16, was shot and killed on the corner of Lewis Ave and Anahiem Street Friday November 2, 2001. His Cambodian name is Chhavarath Chheau. Stephen Carr / Press-Telegram
Police said witnesses told them that both killers were Latinos. Latino-Asian conflict "There is always that on-going conflict between Hispanic and Asian gangs," says Teresa Chavez, a gang specialist with the Long Beach Unified School District. "With any one incident, it could flare up again." Retaliation shootings still occur, says Detective Alex Galvan, an authority on the city's Cambodian gangs. "A lot of it has slowed down, (but) you don't know when it will pop up," Galvan says. Early this summer, there were shootings between two Southeast Asian gangs, Galvan says. Police worked with probation and parole officers, spreading the word that when gang members violate the terms of their probation or parole, "that brings heat down," Galvan says. "The shootings dried up." Since the Ouk and Chheav killings, police have practiced "zero tolerance" enforcement against any criminal activity involving gang members or associates," says gang Lt. Joe Rabe. In November, anti-gang detectives arrested 142 Latinos and Cambodians for criminal activity, most of them in the Anaheim Street corridor, Rabe says. Other factors have changed since Asian and Latino gangs agreed to a truce in 1994. "There are fewer (Asian) gang members now than there were in 1994," Galvan says. "I think they grew up. When my partner and I see them, they say, "I've got a job now.'" Gang prevention The city's anti-gang program can claim credit for part of that about-face. "We've got guys going back to school, becoming employed, becoming regular community members," says Alvin Bernstein, superintendent of the city's Gang Intervention/Prevention Program, who helped engineer the 1994 truce. "A lot of these young men may have been active in a gang a few years back, but they have reached a certain age and they realize they have wasted a lot of time," Bernstein says. "They're maturing, raising young families, paying rent, making car payments. And that is their priority now, as well it should be." Heng Ly, 21, is one of those who say they want to leave the gang life behind. Ly was a member of the Tiny Rascal Gang (TRG) when he went to state prison for a year for violating terms of his parole from a robbery and auto theft conviction. He was released Oct. 5 and rejoined his family in Long Beach. Ly says he wants to find a job, but, with a criminal record and without a high school diploma, he worries about his chances of finding employment. "I'm on parole, and they don't want to hire you," he says. Hard life Ly joined the TRG after his father, Pheng Ly, was shot and wounded by police, says Jeanetta McAlpin, a community activist who raised Ly for a while after his father was sent to a state mental hospital. The shooting occurred when officers responded to a domestic violence call to Pheng Ly's house on Aug. 8, 1992. He was shot seven times when he allegedly ran toward officers with a knife. Heng Ly, who was 11, witnessed the shooting. "The kid was in PAL (the Police Athletic League) and in a Red Cross (youth group). He was making A's in school," McAlpin says. But, after the shooting, his path took a sharp downward turn, she says. "He left PAL because he was mad at the police. He started hanging out with gang members, and he began to get into trouble," McAlpin says. "He ended up becoming a gang member." Does Ly still consider himself a gang member? "Not really. I'm trying to change," he says, adding that he doesn't want to go back to jail. He's already been locked up seven times, including terms at youth camp and the county jail. Gangs less visible Along with shrinking membership, Cambodian gangs are less visible in Long Beach because they've been changing location, Galvan says. "They go to Orange County because they are not known there, so they are not apt to be stopped (by police)." Asian gang members are very mobile, Galvan says. "They travel throughout the state and the country. We're getting calls from Colorado and Massachusetts when they ran into members from here." The gangs may also have changed their focus. "The Asian gangs are kind of underground," says Bryant Ben, a Cambodian community activist who lived at Anaheim and Walnut Avenue in the days of gang warfare. "I think they've gone to different kinds of crime. I think, instead of violence, which brings police in, they are doing white collar crimes - check fraud, computer crimes." The new crimes are extortion of businesses and street robberies of others, says Long Beach gang Detective Scott Sorenson. Generally, the crimes occur within the Cambodian community and in bordering residential areas - somewhere they can rob and get home quickly, he says. "Some are getting into narcotics sales, on a minor basis," Galvan says. Car thefts are also a problem, says Galvan. Some cars are stolen for transportation, while others, such as Hondas and Acuras, are taken for parts. There were several thefts of car computer chips in Belmont Shore earlier this year, he says, but that ended as quickly as it began. Weekend gang fights sometimes are continued at school, says Chavez, whose job takes her to Millikan and Lakewood high schools. She credits city police and school security officers with creating a more peaceful climate on campus. Chavez and her seven counterparts, working in pairs, cruise in school district vehicles to monitor students' passage home. "Also, when there is any conflict with gangs on campus, we do a lot of conflict resolution," she says. They talk to parents when they can, telling them what signs to watch for, to see if their children are involved in gangs. The development of Cambodian gangs in Long Beach came in reaction to harassment they experienced from other ethnic groups, Galvan says. The first Cambodians began moving into Long Beach around 1980, making their homes along the Anaheim Street corridor, roughly from Long Beach Boulevard to Temple Avenue, three blocks north and south each way. Uneasy coexistence The neighborhood was ethnically diverse, with white, black and Latino, and the first newcomers were accepted by their neighbors. But as more arrived, some residents saw them as an encroachment. Tensions escalated, especially in high schools, where Cambodian students were pushed around. Fights at school became more frequent, prompting the still outnumbered Cambodians to band together for protection. Cambodians walking alone were subject to attack, primarily from the East Side Longos. It was about that time that Cambodians began to form their own gangs. Ironically, they "took on the appearance of the Hispanic gangs," including baggy pants and Pendleton shirts with the top button buttoned, Galvan says. "We didn't know what a gang was when we came here," one former gang member told a reporter in 1994. "The Cambodians learned everything from Mexican gangs like the Longos: how to act, how to fight, even how to dress." Five major gangs Long Beach now has five major Asian gangs, Galvan says, and their membership is largely Cambodian. They are the Tiny Rascal Gang, or TRG; the Asian Boyz, or ABZ; the Suicidals; the Crazy Brothers Clan; and the Exotic Foreign Creation Cartel, or EFCC. The TRG quickly developed into the largest Asian gang in the city. It was highly mobile, and by the early-90s it had members as far away as Fresno. It also allowed non-Asians to join. "It had a couple of black members," Galvan says. The Asian Boyz are now the biggest gang and equally hard-core. The CBC is an offshoot of the Sons of Samoa, or SOS. It takes in everyone who wants to join, and includes blacks, Cambodians, Latinos, Middle Easterners and Samoans, Galvan says. Three CBC members are currently facing trial for a Jan. 26, car-to-car shooting in Signal Hill in which an Asian teen-ager was killed and another wounded. The two other gangs, the Suicidals and EFCC, once had as many female members as male members, Galvan says. "The females don't do the shootings and major crimes. They did mostly stealing cars and petty theft for pawn." Now most of the females are married or have kids and have moved on, he says. In time, the Asian gangs sought to distance themselves from the Latino gangs. They began to dress like blacks, took to rap music and picked up the lingo, calling each other "cuz," Galvan says. The ABZ, EFCC and Suicidals adopted blue bandannas, or "blue rags," like the Crips, a notorious black street gang. The TRG's bandannas are gray, the CBC's white. Police estimate the TRG has about 300 active and inactive members, ABZ about 475, CBC about 125, EFCC about 110 and Suicidals about 85. At one time, the TRG and CBC were allied against the ABZ, Suicidals and EFCC, Galvan says. This changed after the TRG told the CBC, "You have to be all-Asian, or else." The CBC then switched sides, aligning itself with the other gangs. Unlike Latino gangs, where "turf" is important, the Asian gangs don't have a set territory, Galvan says. "They can go anywhere. They live all over the place. Along the Anaheim Corridor, East Long Beach, North Long Beach."

MiChuhSuh

Unread post by MiChuhSuh » October 23rd, 2005, 10:15 am

I know this is an old artible, but what newspaper is this from, and can you get a link?

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wizdom
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Unread post by wizdom » November 16th, 2005, 5:58 pm

it was a hot article. u still got that link?

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Unread post by thonkoboy2000 » January 30th, 2008, 1:36 pm

nice article thanks

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Unread post by thonkoboy2000 » February 7th, 2008, 8:41 pm

trg has other races so why they say that shit to CBC?

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