Police Chief Puts Spotlight On Gang

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Police Chief Puts Spotlight On Gang

Unread post by Primetime » June 29th, 2005, 2:19 pm

This is kinda of a old article but I wanted to get fresno in here.

Police Chief Puts Spotlight on Gang
March 10, 2005 — Fresno police are taking note of a recent spike in violence, but say violent crime is down 14% over the last 3 years.

But, Fresno has suffered 16 shootings and four stabbings in just the last 30 days.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says just one gang has been particularly violent. They're based in southwest Fresno, but blamed for crimes in other parts of the city.

Three of those suspected gang members were arrested on Wednesday.

19-year-old Anthony Armstrong surrendered Wednesday night after a standoff in which he had a loaded gun.

He was one of several still wanted in connection to a shooting in an area of southwest Fresno involving assault rifles.

Armstrong was also the brother of 18-year-old Jarelle Armstrong, who was murdered in this southwest Fresno apartment complex last month by what police say were fellow gang members.

It's the same gang that Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says is blamed for other violence beyond southwest Fresno.

Near Fresno's Manchester Center, a 25-year-old man was stabbed in the face. The knife blade broke off in the victim's eye.

Police estimate there are about 60 members of the gang that they will not name.

Wednesday, they made three arrests, including Armstrong and two suspects in the October murder of Michael McGhee.

The state paroled McGhee from prison just four days before his death.

Wednesday's arrest of three suspects was a good day for police, who typically battle to solve about half of gang-related killings.

Witnesses are often afraid to come forward and one West Fresno pastor, Charles Dickerson, says there's even a code of silence that must to be broken. "Not to speak up, not to speak out is a betrayal. It's a betrayal of every mother who has lost a child. It's a betrayal of every child who is forced to duck and dodge bullets."

Last year, Fresno police solved about 58% of the city's 52 homicides. But, subtracting the nine Wesson murders, all under one roof, and the percentage of Fresno city homicide cases closed dipped to just less than 50%.

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