All Articles Tagged "gangs"

2013: The Year Of The Mack! Anthony Mackie Talks “Gangster Squad” And Big Upcoming Roles

January 12th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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From ESSENCE

Actor Anthony Mackie may have been flying under your radar the past few years, but he’s ready to take center stage in 2013. With five films slated for release this year, Mackie is sure to be a household name in a matter of months. Today, his first film of the year, Gangster Squad, hits theaters. He plays a police officer fighting to bring down crime in Los Angeles in the ’40s.

ESSENCE.com caught up with Mackie to gab about all things gangster, including what brings out his inner badass and playing the first Black superhero in the new Captain America film and more.

On being the only black man in a gangsta movie:

“It’s great! My goal when I started to be an actor was to do a gangster film and a Western. If I could do my whole career in Westerns I would be happy. When this came up I was really excited to knock that off my list.”

On his role (he plays a cop) and his inner gangster:

“There are so many facets to the term “gangster.” There are so many different periods of people being gangsters. In the 1940′s being a gangster was all about style and charisma. They were celebrities. The newspapers and everybody would make them larger than life. It was more so about the show and personality than it was being a hard A$$. My thing is when someone does or says something slick to a young lady I’m with then I have to have a conversation with them.”

We love that Anthony Mackie is always working and always playing different characters. Check out the rest at ESSENCE.

These Promoters (And Gangsters) Keep Holding Him Back: Rick Ross Cancels Tour

December 8th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Over the last few weeks, Rick Ross has been the subject of hip-hop news after videos surfaced of members of the Gangster Disciple gang threatening Ross.  Apparently, they’re still upset because Ross shouted out Larry Hoover, one of the founders of the, one his “BMF” track. Well more recently, a North Carolina chapter of the gang allegedly sent death threats and released their own video to Ross and the MMG camp and now, two of the North Carolina dates on the second leg of the tour have been canceled, immediately prompting people to believe it was done so as a direct results of the threats.

However, MMG reps have released a statement and none of it had to do, as expected, with any gangs:

“Rick Ross has been engaging in a tour which commenced November 2 and was initially scheduled to continue until December 2. However, the tour was extended until December 16. Unfortunately, the tour promoter abruptly cancelled the Greensboro and Charlotte, NC, dates. Rick Ross completed the first leg of the tour without incident and eagerly anticipated performing the balance of the dates, but due to apparent lack of organization and communication on the part of tour promoter, the remaining shows of the tour will be canceled.”

So perhaps the promoters were fearful of possible violence at the concerts and wanted to avoid it by canceling the shows.  It appears the problem is that the promoters canceled everything so suddenly that it didn’t allow for MMG to pick up the pieces and immediately do “damage control” with fans and venues.

Ross also reached out to allhiphop.com and sent a message to fans: “I want to apologize to all of my fans who I missed performing for due to the cancellations and want to let them know that I will get back to their cities. I enjoyed my experience with my little bros Wale and Meek Mill and I’m ready to get back in the studio to make good music.”

This is certainly an unfortunate situation as sales for the remaining shows in MS, TN, TX, CA, MI and NY were doing fairly well.

I guess gang dudes don’t get over anything because that song is beyond old at this point. Let the man make his money while the fans enjoy a show.

Police Track Gangs Online

October 3rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(The Star Ledger) — Keith Williams and Karim Sampson, a pair of Bloods gang members known to Trenton authorities, thought they had a snitch in their midst. So in April of 2008, authorities allege, they planned to kill him.  “If I had my wifey (gun), I’d get it done,” Sampson told Williams, according to court records. “But you’ve got (a gun), so it’s on you.”  The men knew they had to hurry, court records show. Their victim — 20-year-old fellow Blood Arrel Bell — was planning a trip.  “He’s supposed to be going to New York for two weeks. I can’t risk him not coming back,” Sampson said.  “Then that (expletive) ain’t coming back,” Williams replied. “We’ve got 48 hours.”  This conventional crime has a new age twist. Authorities didn’t use a wiretap to capture the conversation between Sampson and Williams, and they didn’t stitch it together from eyewitness accounts. The two gang members wrote it all down in a series of MySpace messages, according to court records, where they discussed the killing of another human being in between “LOL”s.

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Chicago Police Use More Deadly Force as Gang War Heats Up

July 26th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Christian Science Monitor) – Chicago Police officers have killed more people this year to date than the total number killed in 2010.  A quarterly report just released by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) shows that 14 people were shot and killed by Chicago officers in the first six months of this year ending June 30. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday that, according to news accounts that tally numbers through July 21, the number of fatalities is actually 16.  In 2010, 13 people were shot and killed by Chicago officers.

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Latino Gang Indicted for Terrorizing Blacks

June 8th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Los Angeles Times) — An Azusa street gang’s campaign against blacks began during a meeting at a local park in 1992.  From there, prosecutors contend, the predominantly Latino street gang went on the attack.  Graffiti with racial epithets began appearing around town, including “Get out N…” sprayed on garage doors of some black residents. Gang members allegedly beat up blacks they found in their “territory,” telling one man “We hate n… in Azusa. This is Azusa.”  Over about 15 years, blacks were assaulted, chased and robbed, their property vandalized, in a “crime spree to drive African Americans out of the city of Azusa,” said U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. Authorities announced Tuesday that a federal grand jury had indicted 51 people allegedly associated with the Azusa 13 gang in what prosecutors described as “terrorizing” blacks in the San Gabriel Valley city of more than 48,000.  Azusa Police Chief Robert Garcia said the campaign was partly motivated by racial prejudice. But it also grew from orders by leaders of the Mexican Mafia prison gang to organize Azusa 13′s narcotics business by “eliminating competition so they can have a monopoly on drug sales,” Garcia said. “Usually a street gang member doesn’t get an original idea; it comes from someone higher up.”

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Addressing Gang Violence in DC

May 20th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Washington Informer) — Del McFadden knows the benefits a timely intervention can have on a young person’s life.  In his case, he believes, it was the difference between life and death.  As a teenager, he was running with older youth and men in the drug trade.  “A drug dealer is the major reason I’m here,” said the 37-year-old District resident.  “I was 13 and sold drugs for him. I lived in a household of five, and we lived on $660 a month from welfare … I wanted to be part of something, so I waited in the car watching the guns and drugs.”  “These were older guys who used me because I was 13.”  McFadden said drug dealing was a way of surviving and the money he made helped him buy tennis shoes and be a part of a popular group in his neighborhood.  “Things started getting hot with shootings.  The drug dealer [William] turned to the church,” he explained.  “The man had college credits, too. He’s the reason I read books.  “He said we were going to sign up for classes at Southeastern University and we both were on the Dean’s List together.”

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Sheriff Ramps up the Fight Against New Gangs in Suburbs

May 18th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Chicago Sun Times) — Cook County Sheriff’s gang investigators couldn’t believe their eyes.  The Bloods — a California gang portrayed in movies like “Colors” — have never had a presence in the Chicago area. But earlier this year, the sheriff’s graffiti unit snapped photos of Bloods graffiti in west suburban Maywood and south suburban Harvey.  Then, sheriff’s investigators spoke to two men in Maywood who said they were from California and admitted they were Bloods. Other Bloods have been identified in the north suburbs near Chicago’s border. And a Bloods member hiding out in Schaumburg was arrested for questioning in a burglary and several murders in California.  “It’s something we’re keeping a close eye on,” said Sgt. Jason O’Malley of the sheriff’s gang crimes unit.  The surprising revelation that Bloods are on Chicago’s doorstep comes as Sheriff Tom Dart is escalating his war on gangs in the suburbs. This year, Dart has partnered with more than 50 police agencies and his investigators began using a sophisticated mapping system to target the worst gang problems.

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"No One Told Me I'd Be Getting A Life Sentence of No Work"

May 11th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Everyone knows about the conundrum of  ex-felons; after serving their time, many find that the punishment extends into a life outside of prison boundaries; a life where one question on a job application form determines career trajectories and livelihoods.

In a piece today in the Los Angeles Times, the executive director and founder of Homeboy Industries, Gregory J. Boyle, discusses the absurdity of the penal system which deters criminals from accessing a second chance and reintegrating into society as productive members. Homeboy Industries helps former gang members and young convicts by providing counseling, education,job training and placement. Boyce recalled a recent encounter with one of his former program participants:

“Another “homie” recently came to me for help after, for the third time, he was let go from a job because his employer had discovered he’d done five years in prison. He told me the boss said, “You’re one of our best workers, but we have to let you go.” Then, with a desperate sadness, the young man added: “Damn, G. No one told me I’d be getting a life sentence of no work.”

Does it seem fair to judge each and every individual on the basis of one conviction? While the rest of the country implicitly abides by the idea that a criminal should never be hired, the city of Philadelphia broke major ground recently when it banned the question of criminal history on the standard job application. Of course, employers have the right to ask about criminal history during the interview but the fact that the question could only be raised during the course of a face to face job interview is remarkable. It would essentially force employers to consider the individual, not the statistic.

 

 

How This Grandma Is Leading Chicago Teens Away From Gangs

April 8th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(CNN) — In Roseland, one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, many residents stay off the streets to protect themselves from rampant gang violence. But one grandmother opened her door and invited gang members to come inside. “They say I’m a nut because I let kids into my home who I didn’t even know,” said Diane Latiker, 54. “But I know (the kids) now. And I’ll know the new generation.” Since 2003, Latiker has gotten to know more than 1,500 young people through her nonprofit community program, Kids Off the Block. And she hopes that by providing them with support and a place to go, she is also bringing hope to a community in crisis.

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And Watch The Video Here:

Wouldn’t Gangs Make Good Real Estate Investors?

January 21st, 2011 - By TheEditor
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by Selam Aster

Would gangs make good real estate investors?

I thought about this question when I heard yet another friend complaining about the drawbacks of owning rental property. James owns a four unit building in South Los Angeles, formerly known as “South Central.” Owning property in South Central doesn’t automatically guarantee him less-than-reliable renters as it is a fact that it’s difficult to find good renters anywhere you are, even for luxury buildings.

James had two problems on his hands when I spoke to him last. He had two sets of renters who had stopped paying rent. One tenant promised that she’d be out in 30 days but that was just code for saying she’d stop paying after 30 days. The other just stopped paying altogether.

Although James had started the eviction proceedings on the first tenant, he was hesitant about filing eviction papers for the second one, hoping he could find a way to compromise with her. He also believed that if he got tough with the second tenant, she would surely demolish the place before she left.  I’ve heard numerous horror stories of tenants and I always wondered how the attitude of these said tenants would have differed if they were too scared of the landlord to be playing these type of games.

Gangs, I believe, would make great owners and landlords. Managing a real estate property takes a lot of organization. Gangs are pretty organized, are they not? And it requires having the stomach to deal with unpredictable tenants. But in this case, that shouldn’t be an issue. Someone who is living in a property managed by a gang can rest assured that all their needs will be taken care of as long as they play by the rules. He or she will, however, be discouraged from breaking those rules, falling behind on rent, and disrespecting the property owners. We know why, right?

As much as investing in real estate is glorified as a easy way to accumulate wealth, having to deal with occupancies and tenants and building repairs is a large, and under-reported, part of the job. It’s a lot for one investor to handle. Gangs have strength in numbers. Imagine if gangs took up the job of investing in real estate in their neighborhoods.

It doesn’t require education and assimilation to run this type of operation; you don’t have to change your speech pattern or wear a suit and tie or even swallow your pride to get into the real estate investment game. A gang that is involved in the illegal drug business can seamlessly transfer their skills into the legal real estate business.  Of course we know the stakes are not as high in the real estate game and I’m not proposing a Stringer Bell type of operation where drug money is funneled to fund high profile real estate investments, but with a little effort, gangs can use their minds and bodies to invest in, rather than deplete, their communities.

Gangs are composed of those who have little interest in integrating into mainstream society or those who have no faith in their own potential for traditional success.  Funneling energy into a proper business, with hopes that the members of the gang would treat each member as a staff member and be committed to doing their job properly, would pave the way for a positive relationship between these men and their sense of self-worth as well as between these groups and their neighborhoods.

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