History of Street Gangs.
New Gangs 101 seminars listed in
2011 NGTA-LES Emerging Trends.
There is no hunting like the hunting
of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it,
never care for anything else thereafter.
Outlawing gangs is
By MICK HINTON World Capitol Bureau
Last Modified: 7/18/2008 2:19 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY — A state representative said
Thursday that he wants to outlaw gangs by
passing a law to enable gang members to be
charged with a misdemeanor.
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Oklahoma City, said he
realizes that such a law might not pass
The Oklahoma City Republican previously failed
in getting a law passed to outlaw pit bulldogs
because the attorney general said an entire
breed could not be singled out.
Tim Hock, vice president of the Oklahoma Gang
Investigators Association, said he strongly
endorses Wesselhoft's efforts. Hock, an
Oklahoma City police detective, said he could
not speak for his department but only as an
officer of the association.
"There's absolutely no reason why we should
allow a gang to be legal," he said. "I don't
think there is one good thing a street gang
Wesselhoft said allowing gang members to be
charged with a misdemeanor would give officers
the means to interrogate them about criminal
activity in the community.
In 2007, Tulsa police identified 375 gang
members, compared with 247 the year before.
Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer said, "There are
various types of gangs — outlaw motorcycle
white supremacy groups, Asian, Hispanic and
African American gangs."
They can be identified by gang names, tattoos
and, in some cases, the color of clothes they
wear, officers said.
Hock estimates that the number of gang member
is as many as 5,000 in Oklahoma City, 2,500 in
Tulsa and 1,500 in Lawton, the three major
cities where gangs are present.
Andrew Spiropoulos, a law professor at
Oklahoma City University, said lawmakers "have
to be very careful when they legislate gang
membership as illegal, because under the First
Amendment, a person cannot be prosecuted
because they are a member of a group."
He said a person can be prosecuted only for
"Generally, what states and cities have done
is that they usually attack some activity in
addition to being a gang member," he said.