Hate Crime Laws Bring Down Azusa Gang Leader

Gordon Tokumatsu and Sharon Bernstein (NBC) | Jan 17, 2013

A novel decision by law enforcement to use hate crime laws along with organized crime statutes to bring down the leader of a brutal Southern California gang has won praise from victims and a promise from law enforcement to do more.

Santiago Rios, 48, was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison on Monday, after pleading guilty not just to breaking racketeering laws, but to violating the civil rights of African-Americans who lived in the area around Azusa where he operated.

Latino and African-American gangs have long targeted each other in Southern California, just as jailhouse groups have divided themselves along racial lines. But residents of the Azusa neighborhoods where Rios operated say he and his operatives, who were Latino, pointedly targeted African-Americans for beatings and crime.

“My son’s been jumped, my daughter’s been jumped and I have almost been snatched and kidnapped,” said resident Penny Johnson.

For years, such attacks were rampant in the community, frustrating local police to the point where the Azusa Police Department made stopping them a top priority, said Sgt. Tim Harrington.

“This gang was targeting innocent people just trying to live their lives,” Harrington said. “And we never forgot about that.”

In one incident, Harrington said, a firebomb was thrown through the windows of the home where an African-American family lived.

Read more at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Hate-Crime-Laws-Bring-Down-Gang-Azusa-Leader-187289771.html

Posted by on Jan 17 2013. Filed under News. 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.

2 Comments for “Hate Crime Laws Bring Down Azusa Gang Leader”

  1. UglyLipMonkeys

    Free this HERO now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. shaquanda

    This man is a chavllo. i heard he rapes little boys

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