Jamiel Shaw’s gang association made him a target for murder, not race

By Alex Alonso (Streetgangs.com)
May 9, 2008

aaaslauson_tnLOS ANGELES – On March 2, 2008, Jamiel Shaw Jr., 17 was gunned down by 19 year old Pedro Espinoza, a 18th Street gang member who had been arrested on the same day of Jamiel’s funeral according to the Los Angeles District Attorney. Espinoza had spent nearly four months in a Los Angeles County jail for exhibiting a firearm and resisting arrest before he was released March 1, 2008 just 28 hours before he murdered Jamiel. Within a week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency had filed paperwork naming Espinoza a potential candidate for deportation. If convicted for this crime, he will most likely received a life sentence, so the immigration hold brings no heavier punishment for this offense. It turns out that when Espinoza was four years old, he was smuggled into the United States from Mexico and he grew up in a neighborhood just west of Shaw’s Arlington Heights home.

Why do you believe Jamiel Shaw Jr. was murdered?

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When the murder was reported in the local news, Jamiel was characterized as the son a military mother, who was a successful high school athlete that was not involved in street gangs in any way. The media described this murder as “senseless” and when it was determined that Espinoza was an illegal alien, the story of Shaw’s murder was being highlighted by the media’s strongest critics against illegal immigration, including Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Lou Dobbs. According to Bill O’Reilly, “Jamiel was just walking around, he wasn’t a bad kid, he’s an athlete, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time” (March 24, 2008 – The O’Reilly Factor).


Jamiel wasn’t a bad kid, but he did have relationships with gang members in his community that led to Espinoza’s fatal assault on him. Jamiel lived in a community occupied by Bloods that have been at war with 18th Street for 12 years. With witnesses pointing out that a Hispanic was responsible for the murder, the only logical assailant would be a member of 18th Street, a predominately Mexican-American gang with some illegal alien members. Reports that 18th Street gang has a membership that is 80% illegal is false. Of the County’s total gang population approximately five to 10 percent are illegal.

The 18th Street gang formed in the 1960s in the Pico-Union community of Los Angeles and has formed over 20 separate gangs within Los Angeles County. Collectively they are the largest Hispanic gang operating under the same name, but in actuality, each of the 20 or so discreet 18th Street neighborhoods should be treated as individual autonomous gangs, since many of the separate neighborhoods clash and have internal rivalries in an unstable network. Reports that 18th Street as a “supergang” are media myths that also include gangs such as MS13, Maravilla, Surenos, Crips, and Bloods, all which are NOT gangs but umbrella labels that hundreds of gangs in Los Angeles identify with. If there were any truth to the existence of these “supergangs,” then the Crips, predominately black, would be the largest street gang in Southern California with approximately 20,000 members in Los Angeles County alone and several thousands more in the surrounding Counties. Since the Crips and black-on-black violence was yesterday’s news, our media is no longer concerned with their violence, even though they are responsible for the majority of gang crimes in our city. Mainstream media attention on gangs for some has now shifted to highlighting the violence that the smaller illegal alien gang member population have committed.

In the Arlington Heights neighborhood, a preliminary investigation reveals that the shooter from 18th Street went to the door of one of Jamiel’s neighbors and shortly thereafter saw Jamiel walking on the street, who was wearing a red belt, a common gang identifier in that neighborhood. According to a witness, the shooter asked Jamiel what gang he was from and then he shot him. All indications about Jamiel was that he was a good teen with a bright future, but what may have caused the shooter to single Jamiel out was his association with the neighborhood including amiable relationships with Blood gang members. His relationships with these gang members should not take away from his good character nor does it justify his murder, because people such as Jamiel inevitably interact with gangs because they are in the neighborhood, on the school bus, protecting residents from other gangs, on the street corners and at the high school.

Many of our City’s 40,000 gang members in the database are teens like Jamiel, just mere associates that interact with those in the community and play sports. They are not of the criminal element, but based on his associations, law enforcement would categorize young Jamiel as a gang member, and if they read the following quote that Jamiel wrote on one of his myspace pages under “people I’d like to meet,” it would raise more eyebrows to his gang affiliation:

“I’D LIKE 2 MEET OTHER B-DOGS SOME FREAKY GIRLS BECAUSE U GOT 2 BE A VERY FREAKY 2 TALK 2 ME. SOME crabs SO I CAN BEAT THOSE c-monstas. BUT MAINLY OTHER GIRLS. aND 2 TALK 2 MY FREAKS”

Source: http://www.myspace.com/lilckaboom

The term “B-DOGS” in the above quote is a reference to Blood gang members, and “crabs” is a derogatory reference to Crip gang members. I would characterize the above statement as normal adolescent behavior but law enforcement will call this gang related. Jamiel was not a bad kid, but he was specifically targeted because of his gang association. Some find it difficult to believe that such a talented athlete would even talk or affiliate with gang members, but college athletes and professional athletes alike are known to have strong ties to their neighborhood gang. Just last week, Boston Celtic’s star Paul Pierce, threw a Piru Blood gang hand sign to Al Horford after a spat during a playoff game that represented his Inglewood neighborhood in California. Stacey Augmon who has gang ties to the Denver Lane Bloods in Pasadena has had a successful career in the NBA and won a national title in 1990 playing for UNLV. In 1996 many skeptics warned about drafting Keyshawn Johnson out of USC because of his “gang ties” to the Fruit Town Brims but Johnson has had a hall of fame career without incident and now a commentator for ESPN. Baron Davis, the star point guard for the Golden State Warriors, has gang ties to his South LA neighborhood and he’s currently producing a film about LA’s gangs, and he is the godfather to Harlem Caron Taylor, the son of gangster rapper The Game. Additionally, Charles Jordan, a Blood member from the LA Swans gang played six seasons in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers and was known to tribute his gang with a hand sign after scoring a touchdown.

Jamiel’s association with the Bloods was strong enough to cause the shooter to target him, making this shooting purely gang related as the shooter’s purpose was to benefit the 18th Street gang’s objectives. When the shooter asked, according to a witness, where Jamiel was from, that provided the shooter’s motive lessening the role of race in this shooting. The murder of Cheryl Green in Harbor City in 2006, the murder of Kenneth Wilson in 1999, the murder of Christopher Bowser in 2000, and the murder of Anthony Prudhomme in 2000, all in Highland Park were black residents killed in purely racially motivated fashion where the victims had no gang affiliation in communities where black gangs were not even present. Additionally all the Hispanic assailants in the above murders were US Citizens.

In nine years as testifying as a gang expert in criminal courts, I have seen dozens of individuals wrongly classified as gang members, including mothers, brothers, and other relatives for just being seen in the neighborhood or having an association with someone who is in a gang. Read about Mario Rocha. This vague identification process that police officers use is the reason why the City claims 40,000 gang members with nearly 100,000 gang members County-wide. Many of these young men never know they are being entered into a gang database, and all it takes is an officer to complete a field information (FI) card and write “admitted gang member.” The purpose for including gang affiliations on as many FI cards as possible makes any offense that the individual commits in the future prosecuted with gang enhancement penalties even if the offense was not gang related.

I have always been against lumping people like Jamiel as a gang member, but because of this conundrum, we must look at gangs not as vicious criminal organizations, but as naturally forming delinquent groups, rooted in community, that include everything from non criminal associates to the hard core elements and everything in between. Many of these adolescent youth will mature out of the gang within their first year and never acquire a criminal record or commit violence. Gangs are complex organizations that require a deeper understanding than what media sensationalism and law enforcement depictions offer on the topic.

Of those 40,000 gang members in the City today, we should only be concerned with about 4,000 to 6,000 of those members who are the habitual repeat violent offenders responsible for approximately 90% of all gang related crime. The rest of these “gang members” are close friends, associates, peripheral players, relatives, school friends, wanna-bes and community residents. Assuming Espinoza is guilty, one has to attempt to explain why this murder took place before we even try to work at mitigating future violence in this community and certainly before anyone can draft law that is suppose to prevent these types of murders from happening again. Many will suggest that if Espinoza was deported, this shooting would have never occurred, but lets take it further and understand that if 18th Street and the Bloods from this neighborhood were not engaged in conflict, not only would Jamiel be alive, so would several other people.

Anyone truly committed to mitigating the violence between the Bloods in Jamiel’s neighborhood and 18th Street should try to organize a truce between the two neighborhoods that have been feuding for over a decade. I am certain that with proper financial resources being used to organize and sustain street worker’s efforts on the conflict between the Bloods and 18th Street, a resolution to this conflict can be achieved that would have a regional impact on other neighborhoods that will educate young people and save lives. Thus far all I have seen is a demonstration of politics among people who have no understanding on gangs and the problems that plague these communities while another family grieves the loss of a great son.

UPDATE: May 11, 2008
On another myspace http://www.myspace.com/185526611 page belonging to Jamiel, and last accessed on March 2, 2008, the day he was murdered, he makes some very interesting statements. He states:

“IM A TRU G ND U DONT NEED TA KNO DA ALPHABETS TA B – SABG!! WUT DO U TELL A BITcKH WIT 2 BLAcK EYEs……..NUTH N SMUG U ALREADY TWIcKE!! 30k..eK AIM TRAKKBOIZ”

Translation:

- “Tru G” means true gangster.
- “SABG” Second Avenue Blood Gang, a click of the Rollin 20s Bloods
- He spells the word “bitch” with a “K” after the “c” which is “cK” for Crip Killer. The letter “c” is also deliberately spelled in lowercase because this letter is synonymous with Crips. He spells the word “Black” and “twice” the same way.
- “30k” means 30s Crip killer, the main Crip rival of the Bloods in this neighborhood.
- Here is the irony, he writes “eK” meaning Eighteen Killer, a gang at war with the Bloods, and the same gang which Pedro Espinoza, Jamiel’s killer was from.

alexalonso Posted by on May 9 2008. Filed under Features, People of CA v. Pedro Espinoza. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

474 Comments for “Jamiel Shaw’s gang association made him a target for murder, not race”

  1. SHIT IMA TELL YA LYKE DIS BORN IN COMPTON CALIFORNIA AND RAISED IN LOUISIAN I CAN LET U IN ON SME REAL SHIT FUCK AND DO SAY F-U-C-K-FUUCK U HATING ASS MEXICANS DAT ARE HATING IMA CRAZY ASS BAD BITCH THAT DN’T FUCKING DESCRIMINATE SO IF U BOOSIE ENOUGH 2 SAY DAT SHIT AROUND ME DO SO CUZ DIS ONE BLACK BITCH THAT WILL TAKE U BCK 2 THA MOTHER LANDS OF MY ANCESTERS AND BEAT THA DOG-SHITTY-FUCK OUTTA U ALL THE WAY BCK 2 THE U.S AND BAC 2 THAT DRIE ASS PLACE U CALL HME BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!U HEARD MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rudybob

      Punctuate much?

    • TONY

      RELAX WITH UR COUNTRY FRIED ASS, I’M MEXICAN, BORN IN SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES, GREW UP WITH BLACKS DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS TILL I TURNED 6 OR 7? WE ALL LIVE IN THE SAME HOOD, WE ALL SUFFER FROM THE SAME THINGS, BUT NOBODY STANDS UP AND LOOKS FOR A REMEDY! TALKING MORE SHIT WILL ONLY BRING MORE SHIT, IT’S TIME TO DO THINGS IN A NEW WAY! THE GHETTO ISN’T THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHILE THE REST LOOK AT US LIKE ANIMALS AT THE ZOO!

  2. BORN AND RAiSED iN LONG BEACH,CALiFONiA..iM NOT RACiST BUT DAMN YA MUTHAFUCKiN STAKiN-PUSSY,DiCK ASS MEXiCANS MAKE A BiTCH WANNA SAY SHiT BOUT CHA..iM SORRY BUT AiNT NUN UHF YA WETBAHKS GOT NUTiN ON USA AFRiCAN AMERiCANS,WE DO SHiT DHAT YA MUTHAFuCKASZ CANT EVEN DO..WE MiTE UHF BEEN SLAVES iN BAHK iN DHA DAY BUT ALL DHA STUUF WE DiD YA MEXICANS COULDN’T UHF DiD CAUSE WE STRONGER DHEN YA,AND GUESS WAHT WE STiLL iSZ..USZ AFRiCAN AMERICANS AiNT SCARED UHF SHiTT..WE DHA REALEST MUTHAFUCKAHS ALiVE AND YA MEXiCANS DHA FAKEST..JUSX KNW DHAT WE AiNT WORRiED BOUT YA CAUSZE WE ON OUR AFRiCAN AMERiCAN SHiT!!!!!

  3. LOOK IMMA TELL YA’LL STANKY ASS MEXICANS LIKE THIS IM A LOUISIANA BAD BITCH AND IF YA’LL MOTHERFUCKERS CAME DOWN HERE TALKING THAT SHIT YA’LL WILL GET THE FUCK BEAT UP OUT OF YA’LL…YA’LL DO THAT TYPE OF BULLSHIT OVER THE INTERNET BUT WHEN YOU SEE THESE BLACK NIGGAS IN PERSON YA’LL MOTHERFUCKERS ON YA’LL P’S AND Q’S….

  4. STOP THA MADNEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PEEEEOOOPPPPLLLEEEE!!!!!PLEASE!

  5. Hero

    Wow. Most the comments on here were made by illiterate, uneducated people. Grow up people. There is more to life than gangs and killing people. Think about the future and what you’ll be bringing your children into. Get a fucking education while you’re at it.

  6. Sam F

    So what does Alex Alonso imply by indicating that Jamiel was associated with a gang. The only point that matters is whether Jamiel was or was not associated to a gang does not justify being murdered. This could of been prevented if our government enforced our laws.

    • boxing man

      what ALfonso is implying is that the murder of Jamile had NOTHING to do with race and many IDIOTS tried to use as a cover up.

      And murder cannot be prevented by someone who wants to and is determined to commit murder.

    • blown one

      we should give them all guns so they can kill themselves off.

      • blown one

        and yes it does justify being murdered, even though he may have at one point turned his life around in the future and become a disgruntled lower middle class single father paying child support and smoking weed.

        We dont need kids running around saying things like cK or eK, talking like they are mentally retarded with a speech impediment, and walking like theyre crippled, while at the same time wearing clothes that dont fit properly. This species of human should be killed off. NO matter what race creed gender or sexual orientation.

  7. all the idiot...

    People on here talking about living in the hood and how badass you are, are fucking moron pieces of shit scum bag scars on our society. You aren’t hard you’re not even intimidating you’re vile and disgusting and in a nutshell failures. For you African; or Mexican or white or whatever you are gangbanging pieces of garbage why not spend some time in Sudan where REAL African men and women struggle through genocide and war every moment of their lives just to hopefully see the day, hoping their village or town doesn’t get razed. How about you gang bangers do something productive for a change. Their are so many productive and laudable African Americans and Mexican Americans, or I should say “actual Americans”, that I’m sick of hearing that the minorities are being held down by the white man. Granted there is still a huge discrimmination towards minorities but that doesn’t deter the ones who want to achieve greatness from attempting to better themselves and their communities. If I were a respected African American leader I would despise the ones who spend their days “on the block” selling drugs and shooting each other over drug turf, and praise the ones that give up gang life to better themselves. To all the Mexican and African americans who are getting an education, making short and long term goals and attempting to achieve them, working a 8-5 or trying to start a business, you are the people that I look up to.

  8. jamiel killa

    fuck jamiel and his entire monkey family hahaha! 10 yrs from now its only goin to get worse for you smelly niggers,enjoy!

  9. MEXICAN COCKROACHES

    FUKKING SPICS AND ILLEGALS…ALL MEXICANS SHOULD BE DEPORTED OR JUST EXTERMINATED!!!

  10. SPIC POWER

    FUKKING SPICS…ALL MEXICANS SHOULD BE DEPORTED BACK TO DIRTY ASS MEXICO DIRTY, UGLY ASS MIDGETS

  11. RICE & BEANERS

    MEXICANS ARE ALL PUSSIES, THEY CAN’T DO SHIT ONE ON ONE TO ANY RACE… YOU GET YOUR ASSES BEATEN BY BLACKS HERE IN NY FUCKKING PUZZIES

  12. Joe Carter

    You guys are idiots. Are you seriously going to shoot each other dead like this forever? What you guys should be doing is trying to get educations, you know advancing yourselves not continuing and endless violent cycle. No one cares about this “Race War” except gang members. But i do find it funny that both underdogs try to destroy each other. This is why Black/Hispanics have such a hard time advancing as a people stupidity.

  13. Rob Dell

    Amazing how this site tries to make it OK to kill Jamiel Shaw because he knew some gangsters. Sure, there were probably gangsters on his block that he knew by name. Soof course it’s OK for some illegal, raised on welfare, just out of jail to geta gun illegally and walk over there and blast him for the hell of it. Well, maybe it ought to be OK for anybody to walk up to any vato and send pieces flying with a 12 gauge. Why not? Is it against the law or something? Just like crawling under the border fence is illegal? So if it;s OK to break immigration laws, tax laws, welfare laws, firearms laws, ID theft laws, motor vehicle laws….then why should any other law mean shit to me or anyone else? You want to march in the streets demanding “rights”. What about Jamiel’s rights? They didn’t count? Why should your rights count? In my opinion, they don’t. You and your familias should get the same thing you gave Jamiel and his family. A smoking hole through your guts.

  14. 29st. click district

    REST IN PEACE J SHAW!!!

  15. this is my first visit and I just wanted to stop by to say Hello there everyone

  16. ASo

    pLEaSE 18……

  17. raw

    do we get props yEt ?????

  18. R.I.P Jamiel Shaw!!!

  19. AZUSA 13 GANG OR DONT BANG!!!! NK BK CK!!!!!!

  20. [...] Espinoza to shoot him. According to Grace, the back-pack suggested to Espinoza that that Shaw was a possible enemy to his gang, 18th [...]

  21. [...] is reminiscent of the 2008 murder of teenager Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was allegedly killed by 18th Street gang member Pedro Espinoza. His father attempted to [...]

  22. Nexaledly

    ERYERSDGSADGASDGHASD FGBNFSDGSADSDAFHSAD
    FGBNFSDGSADDFHAD YUKYSDGSADDFHAD
    ZVXZASDGASDADFHGAD ERYERADFGASDGASDGHASD
    ADFHGASDGASDASDGHASD ERYERASDGASDADFHGAD

  23. THEONE38

    ur right, your not illegal, your ancestors were stolen from SHITfrica. no wonder all of you are still here, there a shitload of aids and nothing out there but DIRT.

  24. mara18

    lol hahaha SLOB KILLA!!!!!!!!!

  25. Sergio

    Its very sad to see all the replies and disrespect about ones race…I am a Mexican American raised in East Los Angeles, who went through a lot like many of you don’t imagine. One day some of you will realize how much damage we are inflicting to our selves. Mexican/Black don’t matter to me, I don’t judge or discriminate because of ones color or heritage. There are many good people out of all raises.. I Know many black folks who are good to me as I am to them. Speaking from experience gangs is not the way to live, for those who are deeply involved: the result isn’t nice, it’s a cruel life followed by a world full of remorse. I am not trying to preach to anyone, everyone will carry on to live the way they desire. I hope that some of your minds will mature and blossom to be able to see there is more to life than the streets. There are many Blacks and Hispanics who are smart and have a lot of potential to become someone in life. Don’t close doors on yourselves because of another idiotic person. There will be many and I repeat many who will provoke you to react in violence, but that is just a part of life. It’s up to us to have a greater inner strength and to know when to defend your self in the right manner. God bless all you hope someone understands where I’m coming from.

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