|Summary of Today's "Deep C" Gang Operation
in Richmond - Chief's Remarks
November 13, 2008
From Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus:
Our take-down operation targeting the “Deep C” gang in Richmond was completed around mid-day with 18 arrests (multiple additional subjects who are outstanding will soon be arrested) as well as the confiscation of over 8 firearms, significant quantities of cocaine and marijuana, cash, and other evidence. A press conference to highlight the operation’s success took place at 2 p.m. today. Attorney General Jerry Brown, D.A. Bob Kochly, and City Manager Bill Lindsay were present as well as several Police Commissioners and community members. I have attached the remarks I made at the press conference for you to review below.
Thank you to everyone involved and many others for your continued support of our various crime reduction efforts and strategies.
Chief Chris Magnus
· Last year, despite a variety of policing and community-building strategies underway, 47 homicides occurred in Richmond. A significant majority of these homicides were gang-related.
· Earlier this year, the Richmond Police Department entered into a partnership with the CA Department of Justice’s Gang Suppression Enforcement Team (or “GSET”) and several other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including WESTNET (the West County Narcotics Enforcement Team) to target individuals involved in serious criminal gang activity, including homicides, shootings, drug dealing, sales of counterfeit merchandise, and more.
· We focused on suspects, properties, and activities that were connected to violence and crime that have plagued Richmond neighborhoods, especially in the Central Richmond—or Iron Triangle area.
· As a result of strong community connections that many of our officers have established, along with thousands of hours of careful and deliberate police work, we were able to develop a legal basis for 41 search warrants, including arrest warrants for a number of “Deep C” gang members and their associates.
· We recognize that there is no single solution to the kind of crime that our residents have grown increasingly weary of and frustrated by. Suppression efforts alone will not address unemployment, lack of key social services, young people being raised by the streets, or insufficient resources for parolees being released back into our communities.
· But smart, targeted crime suppression efforts of this kind are critical to bring a sense of safety back to our neighborhoods and to send a message that gang members and other criminals are not in control of Richmond’s streets.
· Today’s arrests and confiscation of weapons and drugs are validation that when law enforcement works with the community, we can make a real difference. Richmond residents, regardless of their race, ethnicity, economic status, or background are unwilling to be held hostage in their homes by street thugs and criminals. An effort of this kind demonstrates our commitment to use every available resource to reduce crime and improve safety in our City.
· Many members of our department as well as officers from GSET, the FBI, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, the San Pablo Police Department, and other agencies have worked collaboratively over 11 months to get us to where we’re at today. Our patrol officers who work in Richmond’s highest crime neighborhoods played a key role in providing intelligence, relaying information from the community, and assisting in this investigation. I offer my thanks and congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this series of cases.
· One person who would have been very proud of today’s outcomes would be Officer Brad Moody. We lost Brad recently in a tragic car crash, but prior to his death, Brad played a key role in this investigation. I know how pleased he would be with the success of this operation and the fact that Richmond is a safer community as a result of his efforts combined with the hard work of many others.
· A special thanks to our Attorney General, Jerry Brown, as well as to Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement Special Agent in Charge John George for their willingness to work with us here in Richmond in a true collaboration. We could not have asked for better partners.
· I’m also pleased to report that our efforts related to gang activity in the community are far from over. I have placed Lt. Arnold Threets, who also played a major part in the success of this investigation, in charge of an ongoing Richmond/West County Gang Task Force. This task force will continue to focus on gang activity in our city and will work closely with our local law enforcement partners and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office on building the strongest possible criminal cases against gang members who are terrorizing the community.
· Finally, I need to bring it back full-circle. No one operation, no matter how successful it is, or series of suppression activities alone, can adequately address the gang problem in Richmond or any other City. Richmond’s new Office of Neighborhood Safety, the Richmond Works jobs program, along with multiple efforts that involve the Police Department, the School District, various non-profit organizations and groups like PAL and the newly opened RYSE Center are all key in providing alternatives to gang life and a way out of the cycle of gang violence. We need to support all these efforts, assure they are funded appropriately, and not lose our focus on what’s important.
· Thanks to everyone involved in today’s activities, including the over 200 police officers from agencies all over the state who participated in this morning’s search warrants and arrests. This is a milestone in our efforts to achieve a better, healthier, and safer Richmond of everyone.