Gangfighters Weblog

August 1, 2012

Stuff gang bangers in the military can’t do with DoD Instruction 1325.6 in place

We looked at this a bit in Further attempts to give teeth to DoD Instruction 1325.6, with 
Change 1, February 22, 2012 to DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1325.6. 


The guidance includes:

PREVENTIVE ACTIVITIES


a. Commanders should remain alert for signs of future prohibited activities. They should intervene early, primarily through counseling, when observing such signs even though the signs may not rise to active advocacy or active participation or may not threaten good order and discipline, but only suggest such potential. The goal of early intervention is to minimize the risk of future prohibited activities.


– these are all feel good guidelines. The reality is that Commanders (and other unit leaders) remain alert for signs of bad morale and things that affect the mission. They usually don’t see “what someone does off duty” as something that falls into those categories. What they don’t get is that these gang members are 1) smart enough to conceal their affiliation, 2) learning trades they can use to help the gang, and 3) using their military experience and exposure to access the logistics pipeline to help drug and weapons trafficking endeavors, etc. 


– The military is not and is not designed to be engaged in anything resembling early intervention or minimizing the risk of future prohibited activities. Those are activities for communities where there are youth gangs who can be deterred from crime. All military members are adults, and those who are gang members and military service members are far from intervention time.


b. Examples of such signs, which, in the absence of the active advocacy or active participation addressed in paragraphs 8.a and 8.b are not prohibited, could include mere membership in criminal gangs and other organizations covered under paragraph 8.b. 

  • mostly explained by active participation in prohibited groups by fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material; knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing; having tattoos or body markings associated with such gangs or organizations; or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service

These do not appropriately represent the breadth of gang crimes that should be included in “criminal gang offense.” They appear more like some of the indicators used by Departments of Correction and a few police departments to confirm gang membership. From Tennessee:

1. Self Admission

2.  Tattoos

3. Hand Signs/Symbols/Logos

4. Wearing of Gang/STG colors, gang clothing, gang paraphernalia.

5. Possession of Gang/STG documents  

6. Possession of commercial Gang/STG publications.

7. Participation in commercial Gang/STG publications.

8. Consistently in contact with Gang/STG members

9. Contact with Gang/STG members.

10. Participating in a photo with Gang/STG members. 

11. Outside jurisdiction documents. 

12. Correspondence with Gang/STG members.  

13. Named a Gang/STG member in correspondence.

14. Confirmation through outside agency gang unit or database.

15. Engaged in Gang/STG Crime or activity.

In fact, they are a carryover from the wrongly positioned history of this DoD Instruction. As addressed in DoDs New Rules for Gangs in the Military (not a good idea)

At the time the directive was initially published in 1969, the DoD was concerned with the infiltration of anti-war and anti-military organizations. The directive focused on dissident and protest activities within the military, and especially on activities such as underground newspapers, on-post demonstrations, and serviceman organizations.

In 1986, the Secretary of Defense updated the directive. The directive’s language prohibited “active” participation in “extremist organizations.” This comes from language in Executive Order (EO) 11,785 issued in 1953, during the height of the Cold War, when the government feared Communist infiltration. It was later changed to forbid designating any groups as “totalitarian, fascist, Communist, or subversive” and forbade any circulation or publication of a list of such groups.

* * *

We had problems linking the directive to gangs because of it’s history (originally launched from an Executive Order (EO 10,450: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/10450.html) prohibiting communist groups from infiltrating, then war protesters, now extremists. 

It’s pretty clear what actions they wanted to prohibit:
 

         * * *

sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition, or attempts thereat or preparation therefore, or conspiring with, or aiding or abetting, another to commit or attempt to commit any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition

         * * *

Advocacy of use of force or violence to overthrow the government of the United States

So when the explanation for the new Instruction explains that:

Signs could also include possession of literature associated with such gangs or organizations, or with related ideology, doctrine, or causes. While mere membership or possession of literature normally is not prohibited, it may merit further investigation and possibly counseling to emphasize the importance of adherence to the Department’s values and to ensure that the Service member understands what activities are prohibited.

I am tempted to ask what they are talking about when it comes to literature. Are they talking about Gang/STG documents: rosters, procedures, bylaws, codes, etc.? What about Gang/STG commercial publications? What about illustrations or artwork?


Unfortunately, these are the same questions that would allow a defense attorney to claim the instruction is vague and over-broad, and that’s an indication that more thought should be invested in it in the first place.


What do you think?

July 21, 2012

Further attempts to give teeth to DoD Instruction 1325.6

Back in January 2010, I wrote DoDs New Rules for Gangs in the Military (not a good idea) 
which identified the first attempt by the DoD to address section 544 of Public Law 110-181, noting

. . . there’s a very short part about gang affiliations: 

“Military personnel must reject active participation in criminal gangs pursuant to section 544 of Public Law 110-181 

* * * 

Active participation includes, but is not limited to, fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material (including posting on-line); or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such gangs or organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service.”

Well, here’s the follow up!

Change 1, February 22, 2012 to DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1325.6 says:


Military personnel must not actively advocate supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine . . .
* * *
b. Military personnel must reject active participation in criminal gangs pursuant to section 544 of Public Law 110-181 (Reference (i)) 
* * *
Active participation includes, but is not limited to, fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material (including posting on-line); knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing; having tattoos or body markings associated with such gangs or organizations; or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such gangs or organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service.


(emphasis added to highlight additions)


So we added examples of basic gang activity to clarify active participation. 


Knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing; having tattoos or body markings associated with such gangs or organizations are things that all gang members do. The gangsters in the military are usually more advanced that your everyday, run-of-the-mill gangbanger, though. They are members of the Second, and often the Third Generation (see 3G2), and these minor additions will do little (that’s a nice way of saying nothing) to help in their detection, capture and conviction. 


Then again, there doesn’t seem to have been a full onslaught by the DoD to limit the gang infiltration of the military. There have been somewhat thorough reviews by each of the branches — Army CID (2004-2009), Air Force OSI (2007), and Navy NCIS (2012) (which included references to Marine CID investigations). Additionally, the FBI has maintained their inquiry into military-trained gang members since 2007.

I still think the developing prohibitions are contained in the wrong laws (see previous posts), but at least we are detailing what is active participation — and it makes sense. 


I anticipate problems with proving the offender was knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing unless there is a mass movement to educate service members on what gang colors or clothing look like — and then requiring them to report what they see. I don’t see that going very far. The easy defense is that gang clothing has now permeated our culture and clothing, tattoos, and even showing a color preference are all more than gang-related choices. 

The apologists in our DoD investigation units’ public relations departments have been practicing that spin for years . . .

More laws with more teeth directed at more advanced gangs with more investigations — that’s the solution!


What do you think?

May 30, 2012

Gang Laws and their inability to be useful against real criminals

Filed under: DoD DIR 1325.6, gang activity in college, gang member, ganglaw, law — carterfsmith @ 10:24 am

It has been my ongoing impression that the people who create gang laws think that gangs recruit exclusively from the lower-class, uneducated, unambitious parts of our society. Though some of the followers may be found in these populations, a good amount of gang leaders would make good non-gang (read: not criminal) leaders had they made different decisions. There’s a term called 3G2 (Third Generation Gangs) that may explain why focusing on the low-hanging fruit (more on that another time) is not a good idea.


http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=11212

Anti-Gang Law Rarely Used: FoxMEMPHIS.com

With that said, our lawmakers have a habit of offering us feel-good anti-gang laws that either have no teeth or no application. I think the placement of the law in the “Laws On Children, Youth And Families section is an indicator of this.


If the laws lack teeth, police officers cannot use them for what they were (maybe) intended. An example of the no-teeth part might be seen in Tennessee Code Annoted (TCA) 40-35-121, which I have been told is fairly useless as an enhancement guideline for sentencing.


The Code allows for serious gang-related crime to be charged/enhanced one (1) classification higher than the crime committed. The requirements to be met, however, are much steeper than simply showing the suspect is a gang-member. Moving the hurdle higher is like taking the teeth out of it, the law won’t be used.


If the laws have no application, then they don’t apply to the real world — indicating the creation of the law was neither well-thought-out nor well-coordinated. An example of this no application part would be the federal legislation “intended” to prohibit active gang members from serving in the military. That’s another topic for another day.


Lately, at least in Tennessee, there appears to be a shift. Not only are gang cops consistently busting their butts to identify and arrest criminal gang activity, but now the legislators are showing signs they are listening. 


The new law, introduced by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, who introduced the bill along with Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, would place criminal gang offenses within the state’s existing Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, where convictions would be class B felonies with sentences ranging from at least 12 to 20 years. You should note, though, that cases big enough for RICO-like charges are likely to get the attention of the Federal Prosecutors, as noted by Sgt. Todd Royval. It was the federal RICO laws that were successfully used against the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) a few years back.


The measure expands RICO, previously restricted to child pornography and drug trafficking.


It redefines “racketeering activity” to include committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit or soliciting or coercing someone else to commit a criminal gang offense, including threatening or knowingly causing injury or death; receiving money or anything of value from the commission of an aggravated burglary; or from the illegal sale, delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance or firearm.


Note that it’s the RICO laws that are being expanded, but the original law is being incorporated into it. It will take some time to see if the prosecutors can/will do something with this. I know they could not before this.


What do you think?


Public disclaimer: I am a founding board member of the Tennessee Gang Investigator’s Association, headquartered in Hixson, so I might have a propensity to think gang cops don’t get enough support.


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May 16, 2012

Gang Investigators’ Perceptions of Military-Trained Gang Members (MTGM)

My article, Gang Investigators’ Perceptions of Military-Trained Gang Members (MTGM), written with Dr. Yvonne Doll, Northcentral University, was published in Critical Issues in Justice and Politics  (Volume 5, Number 1, May 2012, ISSN 1940-3186). For access to the Journal – http://www.suu.edu/hss/polscj/CIJP.htm 

Preview at academia.edu – http://apsu.academia.edu/CarterSmith/Papers/1628541/Gang_Investigators_Perceptions_of_Military-trained_Gang_Members_MTGM_

Keywords: articles of gangs in the army, military crime, research articles, us military training gangs, gang-related activity in the us armed forces increasing, dod strategic plan for gangs in the military, army definition of gang, army enlistment, gang activity in the us military, street gangs in the military, percent of military personnel have gang association, gangs in the military

Abstract
Communities everywhere have experienced the negative effects of street gangs.  The presence of military-trained gang members (MTGMs) in the community increases the threat of violence to citizens.  The problem addressed in this study was the apparently growing presence of military-trained gang members in civilian communities.  The purpose of the study was to determine the perceived presence of military-trained gang members and to examine whether there was a relationship between the perceptions of gang investigators regarding the presence and the size of their jurisdictions, the proximity of their jurisdictions to a military installation, and the extent to which investigators participate in anti-gang activities.  The statistical analyses used to test the hypotheses in this study were Pearson and Spearman Correlation Coefficients, independent means t tests, and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Regression analysis.  Respondents reported a mean of 11% of the gang members in their jurisdictions were MTGMs.  The Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve were identified as the largest sources of MTGMs and the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples were the gangs most represented.  Recommendations included all branches of the military therein should adopt a uniform definition of gangs.  Military leaders should acknowledge the increase in gang-related crime affecting the military and address the problems caused for both military and civilian communities without attempting to quantify the threat level.  Military leadership should continuously examine the activities of all suspected military gang members to determine active gang affiliation for retention purposes while evaluating any gang affiliation for security clearances.    Military Law Enforcement liaison for recruiters should develop effective communication with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to assist with information sharing. 


For access to the complete article, contact the Journal – http://www.suu.edu/hss/polscj/CIJP.htm

January 11, 2010

DoDs New Rules for Gangs in the Military (not a good idea)

Filed under: DoD DIR 1325.6, DoDI 1325.6, gangs in the military, h.r. 1585, h.r. 4986 — carterfsmith @ 3:36 am

The DoD recently followed Congress’ directive by instruction for “Handling Dissent and Protest Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces.”

Under the revised instructions,contained in the NEW DoD Instruction:

“Military personnel must not actively advocate supremacist doctrine, ideology, or causes, including those that advance, encourage, or advocate illegal discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, ethnicity, or national origin or that advance,encourage, or advocate the use of force, violence, or criminal activity or otherwise advance efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights.”

And then there’s a very short part about gang affiliations:

“Military personnel must reject active participation in criminal gangs pursuant to section 544 of Public Law 110-181 and in other organizations that advocate supremacist doctrine, ideology, or causes; attempt to create illegal discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, ethnicity, or national origin; advocate the use of force, violence, or criminal activity; or otherwise engage in efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights.

Active participation in such gangs or organizations is prohibited.

Active participation includes, but is not limited to, fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material (including posting on-line); or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such gangs or organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service.”

That’s it — just wordsmithing . . . wow, and we waited a year and a half for that!

As noted in Can you prevent membership in organized criminal groups if you are the SecDef?, H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 Section 544 – became law (Public Law 110-181), and required the Secretary of Defense to prescribe regulations to prohibit the active participation of military personnel in street gangs (National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA], 2008, Sec. 544). The bill was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President back in January 2008, and it took until November 2009 to make it happen.

Yes, I realize there were other priorities, but at least we could do something that had a chance of working.

Legislative efforts to prohibit street gang members from joining the military were initially added to a defense-spending bill (Public Law 110-181, 2008). The legislation included the provision to add active membership in a street gang to the standing prohibition against active group membership by military members in extremist groups. The legislation was intended to extend the prohibitions of Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1325.6, which has its history in preventing members of organizations considered subversive and openly anti-government from joining the military in the interests of the national security (Executive Order 10450, 1953). The history of this recent legislation demonstrates a lack of understanding of the requirements for limiting the negative impact of gangs on military communities.

Here’s the problem.

At the time the directive was initially published in 1969, the DoD was concerned with the infiltration of anti-war and anti-military organizations. The directive focused on dissident and protest activities within the military, and especially on activities such as underground newspapers, on-post demonstrations, and serviceman organizations.

In 1986, the Secretary of Defense updated the directive. The directive’s language prohibited “active” participation in “extremist organizations.” This comes from language in Executive Order (EO) 11,785 issued in 1953, during the height of the Cold War, when the government feared Communist infiltration. It was later changed to forbid designating any groups as “totalitarian, fascist, Communist, or subversive” and forbade any circulation or publication of a list of such groups.

I was part of a small group of investigators who saw a gang problem in the military in the early 1990s.

We had problems linking the directive to gangs because of it’s history (originally launched from an Executive Order (EO 10,450: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/10450.html) prohibiting communist groups from infiltrating, then war protesters, now extremists.

It’s pretty clear what actions they wanted to prohibit when they ask “whether the employment or retention in employment in the Federal service of the person being investigated is clearly consistent with the interests of the national security. . . not limited to:

(1) Depending on the relation of the Government employment to the national security:
(i) Any behavior, activities, or associations which tend to show that the individual is not reliable or trustworthy.
(ii) Any deliberate misrepresentations, falsifications, or omissions of material facts.
(iii) Any criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, habitual use of intoxicants to excess, drug addiction, sexual perversion.
(iv) Any illness, including any mental condition, of a nature which in the opinion of competent medical authority may cause significant defect in the judgment or reliability of the employee, with due regard to the transient or continuing effect of the illness and the medical findings in such case.
(v) Any facts which furnish reason to believe that the individual may be subjected to coercion, influence, or pressure which may cause him to act contrary to the best interests of the national security.
(2) Commission of any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition, or attempts thereat or preparation therefore, or conspiring with, or aiding or abetting, another to commit or attempt to commit any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, or sedition.
(3) Establishing or continuing a sympathetic association with a saboteur, spy, traitor, seditionist, anarchist, or revolutionist, or with an espionage or other secret agent or representative of a foreign nation, or any representative of a foreign nation whose interests may be inimical to the interests of the United States, or with any person who advocates the use of force or violence to overthrow the government of the United States or the alteration of the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means.
(4) Advocacy of use of force or violence to overthrow the government of the United States, or of the alteration of the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means.
(5) Knowing membership with the specific intent of furthering the aims of, or adherence to and active participation in, any foreign or domestic organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons (hereinafter referred to as organizations) which unlawfully advocates or practices the commission of acts of force or violence to prevent others from exercising their rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State, or which seeks to overthrow the Government of the United States or any State or subdivision thereof by unlawful means.
(6) Intentional, unauthorized disclosure to any person of security information, or of other information disclosure of which is prohibited by law, or willful violation or disregard of security regulations.
(7) Performing or attempting to perform his duties, or otherwise acting, so as to serve the interests of another government in preference to the interests of the United States.
(8) Refusal by the individual, upon the ground of constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, to testify before a congressional committee regarding charges of his alleged disloyalty or other misconduct.

Note that nowhere in the document is the word “gang” used.

There is and should be a difference between keeping up with people who think that folks of another race are worthless and those who form groups with the intent of committing crime . . .

So now the DoD Reissues DoD Directive 1325.6 as a DoD Instruction. It also contains prohibitions against writing Web sites, BLOGS, and other electronic communications) during duty hours. I can definitely see a connection!

What do you think?

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