05-26-2018  8:56 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Oregon advances with 11-1 run-rule victory over Kentucky

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — DJ Sanders hit a grand slam in a seven-run second inning and the Oregon Ducks are headed to the women's College World Series after an 11-1 run-rule victory over Kentucky Saturday night in the deciding game of the Eugene Super Regional.Shannon Rhodes hit a solo home run...

Amtrak: No evidence injured passenger was in fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old train passenger found severely injured next to railroad tracks in Truckee, California, suspects he may have been the victim of a hate crime, but Amtrak said Saturday that investigators have found no evidence of foul play.Aaron Salazar's family...

City aims to block release of dangerous psychiatric patients

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The city that houses Western State Hospital, Washington's main psychiatric facility, is fighting to keep patients from being released into its boundaries.The News Tribune reports Lakewood on Monday approved a moratorium on city business licenses for new adult family...

Missing fisherman found by divers in submerged vessel

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of a missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J.The Coast Guard said Saturday that the body was found before the vessel was refloated by contractors in Willapay Bay on Friday.The Pacific County Sheriff's Office took the fisherman's...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 200 people turned out for a community meeting Saturday to protest the death of a young black man who was fatally shot by a Virginia police officer after he ran naked onto an interstate highway.Speakers at the meeting at Richmond's Second Baptist Church said...

The Latest: Family: Police need to handle people better

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a naked and unarmed man in Richmond (all times local):5:16 p.m.Family and friends of a man who was fatally shot by Richmond police after running naked onto an interstate highway are calling on police to find non-lethal ways of...

White neighbor gets prison for harassing black family

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor accused of harassing and using racial epithets against a black Pennsylvania family for years has been sentenced to prison.A Northampton County judge sentenced 45-year-old Robert Kujawa to the term Friday after a jury convicted him of ethnic intimidation,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Glenn Snoddy, inventor of fuzz pedal for guitarists, dies

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — A recording engineer whose invention of a pedal that allowed guitarists to create a fuzzy, distorted sound most famously used by Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones' hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" has died.Glenn Snoddy was 96. His daughter Dianne Mayo...

Reaction to criminal charges filed against Harvey Weinstein

Reaction to rape and other criminal charges filed in New York on Friday against Harvey Weinstein:"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us." — Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, to The Associated...

Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

NEW YORK (AP) — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Klay Thompson score 35, Warriors force Game 7 in West finals

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson hit nine 3-pointers and scored 35 points, the Warriors held James...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on border stats _ and a Merkel mystery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Illegal border crossings, as President Donald Trump measures them, have gone up since he...

US Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations ahead of the...

Declassified US cables link Uribe to Colombia drug cartels

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — As Alvaro Uribe, Colombia's most powerful politician, was making his rise to the...

Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the...

Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank arrest raid dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says a soldier who was seriously wounded in action this week has...

Gresham MAX stop
By Donovan M. Smith | The Skanner News

 

Have you ever wondered it means when officials describe a crime as “gang-related”?

The Skanner News spoke to Lt. Claudio Grandjean, the public information officer for the Gresham Police -- a department seeing major upticks in violence in the face of massive economic and demographic shifts – to get a handle on when police choose to use the phrase and why.

The Skanner News: When do you say something is “gang-related,” “possibly gang-related,” versus not saying it at all?

Lt. Claudio Grandjean: That can change. We can go to the scene and we don’t know if it’s gang-related. We just know two people shot each other. At that point we wouldn’t say anything. And we might change that once we find out.

So in other words, we just arrived to the scene where somebody shot somebody. A lot of times if it’s a gang-affected area, that question will come up right away, and we’ll say, “Well, we don’t know.” Then once we’ve identified the victim, or the shooter -- if one of those people’s a documented gang member -- we’ll say it’s gang-related and the reason for that is, quite simply, the question people want answered is, “Is this happening because of gangs?” and a lot of times the answer is yes.

You get into something that’s more ambiguous [with the term “gang-related”], to be honest.

There’s no criteria, the same way there’s criteria for [what a documented] gang member would be.

TSN: What’s the difference between being “gang-involved” and “gang membership”?

Grandjean: For example, I could be kind of on the verge, not quite sure — [but] all my friends are gang members, and I’m kind of doing what they’re doing, but not really. That’s a “gang-involved” kid. That’s a kid that’s making decisions based on the gang, but he’s not necessarily a gang member. In fact, those are the kids you really want to identify because that’s the ones that early intervention really can help.

You and I get in an argument we say, ‘’Hey, what’s the problem here?” and we sit down and we talk about it. Violent gang members get in an argument and they decide to shoot each other.

TSN: So for example, two kids who are gang-involved get into some kind of conflict — not necessarily even a shooting — and media get a press release. Will that be categorized as “gang-related” to the media?

Grandjean: Designating a crime as “gang-related” is problematic. And I guess I would tend to say no, unless they were fighting for the gang.

Obviously, you don’t want that to happen, but there’s a whole different conclusion to that than people firing guns at each other.

If they have guns or knives, we’re going to report that as gang-related, because that escalation is related to the gang. If they’re just fighting, everybody’s been doing that forever.

TSN: There really isn’t the leadership structure that gangs had in the past. So does that change how you’d identify one? Because these could be kids who are joining together and not necessarily be a gang in what we would think of traditionally.

Grandjean: Right. They don’t have the roots and an OG who’s sort of pulling the strings. I get that.

And again, there’s a legal definition for purposes of documentation. If they are all coming together for the purposes of furthering criminal activity, whether it be, “Hey, let’s be the only ones selling drugs in this area, we’ll intimidate everyone else out of  here,” and that’s their thing -- even if they’re a bunch of kids getting together and they’re calling themselves whatever -- that’s a gang by legal definition.

But agreed, it doesn’t have the same top down structure that a lot of these traditional gangs do. And I suppose, part of that is the gangs aren’t as embedded here in terms of over generations as they are in Southern California.

TSN: How big a factor is race when incorporating “gang-related” into media releases?

Grandjean: Oftentimes, the information we put out is in response to media inquiries.

So, for example -- a white guy shot on NW 7th  versus a Black kid shot on 195th and Burnside, I guarantee I get asked [if it’s gang-related for the latter].  So I’m responding to what I’m being asked.

When somebody dies, our goal is to find who did it and get some justice for the family. It makes no difference to us what color the dead person is.

To be honest with you, the less information we put out in the early parts of an investigation the better it is for us.

But we have a duty to inform the public of what’s going on.

TSN: So maybe in some capacity, it would be better for media to do what I’m doing -- getting a better understanding of what gang-related even means.

Grandjean: I think you’re absolutely right.

For example: [if we haven’t gathered all the facts] but our Gang Team knows [there’s a high probability] gangs were involved, and I don’t say, “gang-related,” the public looks at that like why are you hiding that? So, then we kind of get criticized on that side.

On the other side, if we jump and say it’s gang-related just because it’s two Black kids that could seem racist. Because maybe it’s not gang-related. Maybe it’s just a kid who happens to have a gun.

It’s really a fine line to walk, and a difficult one to balance.

TSN: How has the face of gang activity changed in the Gresham area over the years?

Grandjean: Sometime in the early ‘90s, we started seeing our gang activity. There were a lot more Latino gangs; there were some hardcore OGs that had come up from Southern California during that time.

We saw what was happening in Portland, happening in our city, and said, “OK, the gangs are coming.”

The Black gangs were mostly in North and Northeast Portland. They have moved out this way for whatever reason, I’m not a sociologist. I don’t know why people moved.

Gangs the way they’ve evolved in the metro area in Portland and Gresham in particular, it’s not as turf-centered. They float around from area to area. We’ve had apartment complexes where there’s rival gang members living in the same complex, which just doesn’t happen in California.

It seems now, the source of income for so many gang members is running prostitution and that doesn’t necessarily have a turf, but it could.

A lot of times here a gang shooting isn’t over turf. In fact it rarely is, I can’t remember the last time I heard of one of those.

I’ll tell you that now when I talk to our Gang Enforcement Team, we have people that work nothing but Black gangs, people that do nothing but Latino gangs, and people who do nothing but the White Supremacist gangs—there’s plenty of work for all.

We’re certainly getting more early-intervention support than what we used to, which is good.

[But] that’s not really what we do, as the police, we kind of just identify them and direct the resources to where they need to go.

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