Monday, February 06, 2006

Tonight's Fox 17 Report On Gang Growth A Good Start

The story tonight didn't seem to glamorize gang life, which is a good thing. It focused on alarming growth: there are an estimated 5,000 gang members spread across Nashville in several different groups. Most alarming was the recent arrest of two gang members from MS 13, a gang with paramilitary roots in El Salvador, which is known for killing victims with machetes and torturing its own members in initiation ceremonies. According to a separate report shown earlier tonight on MSNBC, MS 13 is now spread across communities in 33 US states, including Tennessee. There was very little reference to other specific gang characteristics or neighborhoods. The Fox story mostly focused on police response to and causes of gang membership, and it quoted the pastor of an inner city church who used to be a gang member saying that living the gang life is living a lie. In a different segment tomorrow night, Fox 17 will interview the mother of a slain gang member. All in all, I thought this fit the bill of a kind of "early warning detection" approach--which I mentioned previously--that at least attempts to elicit responses from the public and the local government. This is a good start, but more work needs to be done on this problem by others.

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