➊ Vietnamese Youth Gangs

Friday, May 28, 2021 6:16:50 PM

Vietnamese Youth Gangs

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Once children join a gang, experts say, a range of consequences puts them at a heightened risk to enter the juvenile justice system, including an increase in criminal offending and a higher probability of arrest. In , there were more than 1 million juvenile gang members, according to self-reported data collected in a Journal of Adolescent Health report. In , the National Youth Gang Survey estimated that there were , criminal gang members; however, this number includes both juvenile and adult gang members, given that law enforcement agencies typically come in contact with older and more criminally involved gang members, according to Dr.

The lack of recent national data collection on juvenile gangs is because of a lack of federal funding, experts say. In Philadelphia and Phoenix, gang-affiliated children were more likely to be imprisoned and held without bail than children who were not associated with a gang, according to the study in the Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Journal. Juvenile gangs form in already violent environments that are characterized with marginality and oppression, said Dr. David Pyrooz, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. These environments lead kids to seek some form of safety and protection, which they ultimately find in gangs, he said.

Frank Gottie, current gang member and community activist in Memphis, Tennessee, joined when he was 15 years old. They lived in Section 8 public housing while her mother worked multiple jobs. Because of his gang affiliation, Herrera often was stopped and questioned by police. Lucero Herrera was four years younger than her brother, and soon after he joined a gang, she followed in his footsteps. Photo courtesy of Lucero Herrera. Children also seek out gangs to make money to survive, according to Eric Davis, executive director of the Base Chicago and former Chicago police officer. KT began running with his neighborhood gang in Las Vegas when he was just 9, following in the footsteps of his father and the majority of his neighbors.

When he joined the Chicago Police Department, Davis began identifying the dangerous conditions in gang-affiliated neighborhoods. He witnessed families who, by instinct, would jump in the bathtub at the first crack of gunfire. Melvin Farmer, a co-founder of the 83rd Street Crips gang in Los Angeles who now is a gang-intervention advocate, said gang-affiliated children are desperate for mental health services because of what they experience in their neighborhoods.

Farmer, who said he was sent to juvenile detention more than 40 times as a minor, called the current system a breeding ground for gang membership. Sang Dao, left, was 17 when he was arrested, and he turned 18 in custody in an adult facility. Photo courtesy of Sang Dao. Sang Dao was born into a Vietnamese family in an impoverished area of Oakland, California, where many of his male relatives were gang members. But by 13, Dao found refuge among Asian-American gang members on the streets.

He struggled with English and quit school, which left him an outsider. So with no place of my own, at age sixteen, I reached out to my brother Tony in Los Angeles, where I met the Black Dragon for the first time. This is the second kind of Vietnamese gang, more exclusive to the LA area. This second kind was more engaged in organized crime, after the pattern of triads, perhaps because of the close cultural proximity of the Vietnamese to the Chinese. The history of the Black Dragon began in the early s. Since each came from Viet Thanh, these three were always at war with its rival, the Chinese gang Wa Ching.

In the late s and early s, Chinatown consisted of both Chinese businesses and Vietnamese businesses. But the Wa Ching began harassing Vietnamese businesses, so the youths of the Vietnamese businesses decided to stand against the Wa Ching. That was how Viet Thanh started. But what started out as noble acts eventually were corrupted as the Viet Thanh became thugs themselves. After the three-way split, Black Dragon migrated to the San Gabriel Valley where it established new territories. I chose to be part of the Black Dragon mainly because of the respect their members received. For example, one time my boys and I were walking into a nightclub associated with the Black Dragon, and a new bouncer stopped us and pointed us to the back of the line, but then the regular bouncer told him to let us through.

We were all still minors and this club was for those over twenty-one. After my boys and I settled in at a VIP table, this new bouncer asked if he could speak with me. Here was a middle-aged man humbled, apologizing for his mistake and offering me his services. Respect… at long last. I carried that name with pride. When others thought of Black Dragon, I wanted them to think of me. I was facing possible of fifty-eight years for numerous counts of extortion and robbery, so I took a deal for two years and did my time at San Quentin. During this time, my crew and I broke away from our Anh Hai, because we no longer wanted or needed to be under his thumb.

We could protect ourselves without him, and we wanted to keep all our earnings and not have to give him a cut. No longer a soldier, I had my own crew. Boom : Tin Hac Lun sounds like a completely different person to the Tin I have known for the past four years. How did the lifestyle you led as Tin Hac Lun end in a prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole? Tin: Drugs were a major detriment in my life. At a young age, I inadvertently unleashed a demon so voracious that it consumed me. I started drinking in seventh grade, and met Mary Jane marijuana and Coco cocaine when I was fourteen. A couple years later, at a party, I was sitting on the bathroom floor across from a beautiful woman in her twenties, and she passed me a pipe with some crack….

I became the demon himself. Mary Jane, Coco, and later Crystal Methamphetamine became the three loves of my life. They destroyed me and brought me to the edge of suicide. In , during a robbery in San Jose, I killed Mr. Stanko Vuckovic. Throughout the years, I have replayed that moment repeatedly. The point that I cocked the gun, that I chose to use the gun in the robbery, and above all my decision to rob this man and take what was not mine were all what caused his death.

Yet, these were not the only factors. Other elements, such as abusing drugs, joining a gang and choosing a life of crime, were all the bad choices I made that led me to that very moment. I was going to kill someone eventually. Thus, I am responsible for Mr. I was arrested a year after I killed Mr. Let me express now, with all respect, what I have wanted to say for two decades. Boom : Thank you for saying that, Tin. I know that you want to return to your remorse and desire to make amends for past actions. But before you had this realization, what was your life like in a maximum-security prison? Was there anything unique about it from a Vietnamese perspective?

You run Asian. So, that was the creed I lived by for many years. In prison, racial segregation was and is the norm; this was one of the many rules I had to abide by. Here, there are two sets of rules. At Pelican Bay, we Vietnamese were a tight group, and we helped each other with most things, like food, clothes, etc. Even though we had divisions among ourselves, such as North Cali versus South Cali, we united when troubles came our way—we bowed down to no one, even at the risk of our lives. Boom : That life seems a long way behind you now at Lancaster. Tell us about the man you are today, Tin. How did such a remarkable transformation take place?

Tin : This leads me back to the beginning of this interview. I believe there was someone up above divinely watching over me. When I was once surrounded and it looked like it was going to go badly for me, suddenly a big, muscular African American guy and his friends approached the crowd. These guys were Bloods, and they intervened and had a side meeting with the Crips surrounding me. Ultimately, the situation was resolved, and I survived another day. With this attitude, I felt dead, and in a way I was dead, just a walking corpse with no purpose, hope, or love. Approximately two years ago, I was in a very dark place.

It was part of the Paws for Life Program. I used to be petrified of dogs— definitely not a dog person. However, all that changed one evening when a Boxer put his head on my lap. Before this happened, my ex-girlfriend had left me. However, it should not make one feel hopeless, or even destitute. In hindsight, I realize that this was the pivotal point of my life; whether I was going make it or break it. All the pains of my life, that I had carefully locked away, came rushing out.

The pains of my childhood, the regret and remorse of my crime, the loss of my freedom, and the death of my father and brother during my incarceration came back to haunt me. The break up was the key that unlocked my miseries. The pains were excruciating. I wanted to end it one way or another, wanted the pain to go away. Once again, I contemplated the forever night, the long sleep. However, an angel came to rescue me. My encounter with Vic happened in a most unusual way. One evening as I was talking to my friend Bernik, I noticed a Boxer dog full of anxiety. He stood there constantly watching as if something might attack him. Then all of a sudden, he came over and laid his head on my lap.

I was scared, yet touched. Bernik explained that the Boxer named Vic was a bait dog, who had come here all scarred up with a smashed paw. He had a rough life. This broke through me in a way I did not think possible. No one on this yard is going to hurt you. Through this relationship, Vic got better, and that was the goal. However, though I thought that I was there for him, it was also the other way around; Vic was there for me. He comforted me when I was down and out.

Vietnamese Youth Gangs needed Vietnamese Youth Gangs be aware of what Vietnamese Youth Gangs going No Math At All Short Story around me, Vietnamese Youth Gangs what I have to do Vietnamese Youth Gangs help. Vietnamese American teenagers. In such moments, I envied my American friends. Back to top Home News U.