Tuesday, July 21, 2009

That Pesky Little Gang Thing

You probably heard that after only five days, the interim Metro Gang Strike Force was shut down by the head of the Department of Public Safety. Five Days! I would think somebody shutting down gangs would contribute to 'public safety'.
It was announced that the strike force commander Capt. Chris Omodt had resigned, when actually Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek recalled him. Stanek said he didn't want his office to have anything to do with the strike force.
The original strike force had been accused of mishandling seized money and cars, and when members got wind of the accusations they started shredding papers and tried to steal documents from their headquarters.
Once the interim strike force was assembled, public safety officials said there was a "lack of common vision"(wtf) what ever that means. Maybe it's just my thoughts, but isn't it up to their supervisors to lay out their 'common vision'?
All this while, (disclaimer) and I'm sure they're not the only ones, Somali gangs are on the rise in Minneapolis. In a ten month period, seven Somali men were killed. It's believed it was the work of Somali gangs. Police and Minneapolis leaders won't tell you but it is believed by Shukri Adan, a former Somali community organizer, that in 2007 there were between 400 and 500 young Somalis active in gangs like Somali Hot Boyz, the Somali Mafia and Madhibaan with Attitude.
So, what to do now? I'll tell you what. We rely on outside sources for what's going on here in Minnesota.
From KSTP.com, "a gang expert in California said economic and social factors are more likely to blame for the spike in gang activity than any spillover of violence from war-ravaged Somalia.
"When there's unemployment and poverty and lack of external support, there's gangs," said Jorja Leap, a social welfare professor at the University of California Los Angeles and former gang adviser to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department."
I guess we're going to have to rely on some strike force from California to resolve the problem here, as officials here aren't committed to or don't believe we need our own strike force. It kinda reminds me of officials back in the 1980s saying that gangs weren't here and we won't have to worry about that. It must be a California thing.

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