Aaron Harvey and Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan Speak on San Diego District Attorney’s Attempt to Railroad them on Criminal Street Gang Conspiracy Charges
In 2015, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis sought to use a provision in state law to charge purported gang members with conspiracy charges related to over a dozen murders by Lincoln Park gang members in 2013. Among them, Aaron Harvey and Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan of Southeast San Diego — who have no criminal record — face life in prison over charges related to alleged gang activity. How does one become “gang-affiliated?” How, then, does one get charged with criminal gang activity whether or not there was direct involvement? Aaron Harvey and Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan spoke at San Diego City College on how a little-known provision in California’s Proposition 21 can proclaim alleged gang members guilty by association.
>> Along with Umoja, you guys want to introduce yourself.
>> My name is Samantha, just repping Umoja [laughter].
>> I’m Tony, I’m the President of Umoja.
>> And we felt it was really important to talk about this issues that’s going on here in San Diego, the city of San Diego.
Penal code 1082.
5 came out of Prop 21.
So, we’re going to hear really a lot of information, how it can affect not only you, but your loved ones.
And we need to stand-up, and start saying, “This is not right, ” you know, our communities –we are the community within the community, and it’s important that we start voicing in our voices.
Do you want to talk some more?
>> And you’re here today because of — we –us as Umoja, we get involved with a lot of community works, and one of the things that we had was Aaron come out to our class, and speak about this penal code that has negatively impacted his life, and dozens of others.
And so what we want to do is get the word out to you guys so that you’re aware of what’s going on in the community, and how the law, the legal system, is to being used to put a lot of people, incarcerate a lot of young men.
So that’s what we’re going to be doing today, and so right here we have Aaron and Brandon, and they’re going to talk a little bit more about the penal code.
[ Applause ]
>> How’s it going?
>> My name is Aaron Harvey.
Today, I’m going to just talk to you guys about proposition, the penal code, my life, the effects of it, and thing that have been transpiring in my life since January — July 17 of last year.
Let’s start off with Proposition 21.
Proposition 21 was voted in in 2000, California.
It was a proposition focused in on sending minors to — like, being –minors being able to be charged as adults, but then it dropped the law where they can charge them as an adult from the age of 16 to 24.
So, you can send a 14-year-oldkid to prison if you want to.
In that proposition there was a law, Penal Code 182.
5, had nothing to do with minors.
That law states that if you are a documented gang member, any crime that the gangs commit, whether you had knowledge of it or not, you can be held to answer to those charges.
So, they say you have to promote, further, assist, or benefit any crime, and they can charge you with it.
So, here comes July 17th, 2014, I’m walking out of my house.
I live in Las Vegas out by the way studying real estate.
I’m walking out of my house and I run into the US Army.
Machine guns, rifles, dogs, helicopters– the whole nine, get on the ground, hands in the air — I don’t know what’s going on.
They arrested me to tell me I’m wanted in California for nine murders, all right.
So, you know, I didn’t really think nothing of it.
I thought, you know, you got the wrong guy.
So anyway, I go to jail.
I spend one month in the county jail in Las Vegas and they ended up extraditing me to California.
California, they tell me I’m wanted fora conspiracy to commit nine shootings.
I’m held on a $1.
1 million bail, and I spent the last seven months in the county jail.
I don’t have a criminal record.
I’ve been stopped by the police about– being nice, I say 50 plus times, but I believe it’s probably in the 100s.
There was never any tickets given, there was never any disturbances.
Again, I wasn’t arrested, I don’t have a criminal record, but just mere stops in my neighborhood.
My neighborhood is Lincoln Park.
My family moved in Lincoln Park community in the ’50s, Logan Avenue.
My — both my grandparents moved down on Logan Avenue.
My parents met when they were nine, they’ve been together since they were 14, they’ve been married for 30years, and I’m one of five kids.
I’ve had multiple different jobs, Mercy Medical Technician, Caltrans, Department of Transportation, I’ve managed restaurants, I’ve managed Targets, I’ve done it all.
But again, with these stops that I’ve had, just mere stops in my neighborhood, the police have documented me as a gang member, all right.
So, they documented me on two stops.
One, when I was 17-years-old standing in front of my grandmother’s house.
I was with another individual who they considered documented, who we don’t know why he was documented.
A strike one against me.
Thirteen months later, I’m standing across the street from my –at my other grandmother’s house with another individual.
Again, he’s documented.
That’s strike two.
At 18-years-old, I’m a documented gang member.
I don’t know why.
I mean, I don’t know that I’m a documented gang member until I’m 26-years-old, and I’m looking at 56 years to life in prison.
As of yesterday, the charges were dropped on me so now I’m no longer looking at 56 years in prison.
[ Applause ]Because my reality on July 17thuntil yesterday was life in prison.
I want to talk about the gang documentation policies.
There’s nine different criteria’s how a person can be documented as a gang member, all right.
So, pretty much as I look around in the room, I can document every single one of you guys as a gang member, all right.
So, they say based on the color you’re wearing, based on the police stop of a neighborhood, if you’re in a picture throwing up a certain sign — whatever they narrate that sign means.
That sign can mean anything, but if they narrate it as a gang sign –pretty much every sign can be narrated as a gang sign, that’s another one.
I don’t know all of these different criteria’s we’re trying to pull it up now.
But I want — if we can get it pulled up, I want to read off these nine criteria’s, and if you meet any one of them I want you to raise your hand, and I guarantee you at the end of these nine criteria’s everybody in this classroom will be raising their hand.
>> [Laughter] There you are.
>> You’re taking pictures with me.
>> That’s one.
>> Yep, that’s one.
>> I’m not raising my hand.
>> So again, going back to the case.
The district attorney says, “We know Mr. Harvey had nothing to do with these nine shootings.
We know that he didn’t facilitate, assist, promote, further, any of this.
We know — we’re pretty much sure he didn’t even have knowledge that these crimes even took place, but because we have him documented as a gang member, we can charge him with these crimes, ” all right? So, there’s 15 of us on this case.
There’s 33 total.
They got a group of Lincoln Park and they got a group of [inaudible], right.
So, then my attorney’s asks, “Well, how many documented gang members do you have in Lincoln Park? “They said, “We have 543 people documented from Lincoln Park.
“He said, “If he wanted to, he could of went and arrested 543 people and put them on this case, “and they all looking at life in prison, all right, but he chose us 15.
So, you guys know about the mass incarceration, [inaudible] you guys familiar with the Jim Crow laws back in the day, just a revolving door.
Proposition 47 was passed on November 3rd, all right.
Possessions of — felony possessions of narcotics got dropped down to a misdemeanor.
Thousands of people were released from prisons, county jails — we were in there actually.
I had a 172 people in my dorm, November 2nd.
November 3rd, we had 43 people.
The jails were empty.
>> Proposition 47, they lose money, they got to lay-off sheriffs, you have to lay-off police officers, everything.
So, you come to Proposition 21, where this –where the district attorney states 543people could be locked up on one case.
That’s one neighborhood, all right.
They can go and annihilate each community across the nation.
This law has been on the books for15 years, nobody’s ever touched it.
There’s 58 district attorneys in the state of California.
Fifteen years, no district attorneys ever went after this.
It’s an over-stretch of the law, unconstitutional.
But Bonnie Dumanis, it’s her test case, it’s what she says.
She goes on the record and says, “This is our test case.
“They wanted to use us as a model to be set throughout the state and everybody knows when California adopts something it goes throughout the nation.
>> Let me see.
Let me see.
I don’t write these things down, I kind of just talk so I might be a little of everywhere.
So again, with the Proposition47 being given to us as –and to the people, they come around, and they wrap up.
With Proposition 21, the federal prisons and stuff back-up.
Now, San Diego, third –well, Southeast San Diego, third lowest crime rate in San Diego, all right.
PB has a higher crime rate than us.
Los Angeles is the sixth safest city in America.
There we go.
Los Angeles, sixth safest city in America, but from the ages of 16 to 24, black males, nearly half of them are documented as gang members.
So, if this would have passed as of yesterday, they would of been able to go to Los Angeles, and wipe out almost half of the black population ages 16 to 24.
So, I urge you guys that this isn’t really a black issue, this is a people issue.
I looked at the immigration reform, all right.
If you’re not a naturalized citizen, and you’re documented as a gang member, they don’t even need due process to just deport you.
So, if they can document you without due process, we can get you out of here, you know.
So it’s not black, it’s not just about Latinos, it’s not just about the Asians, it’s about –it’s a people thing, and if you don’t –if they can take the rights of the people that aren’t your ethnicity, then they’re going to eventually come after you also.
Martin Niemoller [assumed spelling], right, I believe was his name, he has a quote that says — well, let me give you a little history on who he is.
He was a German priest during Hitler’s control over Germany, and he only spoke out against the Nazi’s when the Nazi’s wanted to control the Lutheran churches.
It was okay that everything else that they were doing.
So, he spoke out against that.
They put him in prison for 10 years.
While he was in prison, he has a quote that says, “They came after the Socialists –I did nothing because I wasn’t a Socialist.
They came after the Unionist — I did nothing because I wasn’t a Unionist.
They came after the Jews — I did nothing because I wasn’t a Jew.
But then they came after me — and there was nobody left to fight with me, or fight for me.
“So, I say that because it not, it might not be at your front doorstep today, but if you don’t do anything about it now because there is 18 men right now that’s still on this case and fighting.
Actually, they go before the Judge today.
They’re in front of the Judge as we speak.
It’s not at your front doorstep now, but it will be at your front doorstep later.
So, if we — us — this is the future, this is the politicians, the doctors, the lawyers, the decision-makers of the future, all right.
So, we have to do things now so those things can stop down the road, and it doesn’t have to get to you, or your brothers, or your cousins, or things like that — in that nature.
Now, I want to go back to this documentation thing, all right.
So, subject has been arrested, or known, and it doesn’t even have to be arrested, it can be stopped.
So, they even kind of fib on their own policies, right.
So, subject has been arrested or alone with a known gang member, all right.
So, has anybody been stopped with a gang member before? Or you’re not even a gang member, somebody that they might even consider to be a gang member, all right.
So, [inaudible] identified as a gang —
>> And, just so, and a stop doesn’t even need to be pulled over, detained, anything, right?
>> [Inaudible] stop.
>> It could be saying, “Hey, how are doing today?”
>> Yeah, and a contact.
They say you need three contacts to be documented.
>> I was documented off two, right.
They can go on your Facebook and that’s a contact.
>> They can go on your Facebook, see you with a color like this, or a hat, or whatever, and document you.
There’s no due process, they don’t have to let you know.
Again, I was documented at 18.
I didn’t know until I was 26.
It’s kind of like the Scarlet Letter in a sense.
You guys know about the Scarlet Letter? All right, but this is even kind of worse than the Scarlet Letter in a sense because at least when you’re wearing the Scarlet Letter at least you know, you know, you have it on, and you know.
So, I’m walking around as a documented gang member and I didn’t even know, all right, and they say it’s okay to send people to prison for lack of being a documented gang member.
So, then I remember — well, I think back to where it was okay to lynch black people back in the day, and their justification for it was we were the “N” word, right, and it was okay, and they got away with it.
And then we go to the 20th, 21stCentury, and it’s okay to send black men, or just men to jail period, for life because they’re documented gang members.
Did you see the correlation, or whatever? So, I’m — we got Brandon here.
I’m going let him tell his story a little bit, Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan, and then we’ll open it up for discussion, or whatever, and if you guys have any questions.
>> All right, so my name is, he said, Brandon “Tiny Doo, “whatever you want to call me, Brandon.
Aaron kind of gave you the — he kind of laid out the, what the whole 182.5 thing is about.
I’m going to kind of give you [inaudible], like, the devastating effects that it has on, like, the families, you know, what I mean so, okay.
So basically, give you a run down on what happened.
I’m at home one night.
Wake up, get ready to go to work, I’d say it’s about 4:00 in the morning.
So, I get up, start getting my stuff together, I hear a whole bunch of talking outside.
So my girlfriend who fell asleep on the couch that night watching TV, says, “You hear all those voices outside? “She’s like, “I don’t hear anything.
“I said, “Well, there’s a whole bunch of people outside.
“She said, “Nah, man, go back to sleep [inaudible].
“I said, “Now I got to get ready for work anyway, ” So, I mean, I’m just going to continue on whatever.
So, I was like, “But before I do, I’m going to go out here, and see what’s outside.
“So, I opened the door.
When I opened the door it’s, “Get down, get down, get down! “They got — I’m talking about big assault rifles, everything.
The police pile into my house, they put me down on my knees, and I’m like, “What’s going on? “Don’t worry about it, we’ll tell you in a minute.
“”Who are you looking for? “Are you Brandon Duncan? “Yeah, that’s me.
Well, ” the cops said, “that’s who we’re looking for.
“I’m like, “All right, cool.
“So, they have me handcuffed, they handcuffed my girlfriend, they handcuffed her mother, and then they run into the room where her son is asleep at.
[Inaudible] he’s 11-years-old.
So, she’s hysterical, she’s crying, and she’s going like, “Please don’t run in there with your guns out.
My son is in there.
I don’t want you to shoot my son.
“So, they go in there anyway, they take him out.
They bring us all out.
He has on — he has on not-shirt, shorts, no socks, and they have him just walking outside like that.
So, as I’m walking outside I look back at my girlfriend because I’m oblivious to what’s going on.
I look back at my girlfriend and I ask her, I said, “Did you do something?”[ Laughter ]I know I ain’t did nothing.
Then she looked at me and was like, “No, did you do something? “I’m like, “Nah, ” but so, you know, they take me, and whatever, and I’m asking them, you know, “Where am I going, ” because when they came they identified their self as the Federal — the FBI.
So, I’m like, “Well, okay, I guess.
Am I going to the Feds? “and they was like, “Well, don’t worry about it.
“”What do you mean don’t worry about it? You have me in handcuffs.
I can’t know where I’m going? I don’t know what’s going on? “They was like, “Well, don’t worry about it, somebody will talk to you in a minute.
“So, as they go through their little process I see a San Diego police car pull up.
I’m like, “Oh, so I’m going to the county jail, I guess? “And they said, “Yeah, that’s where you’re going to go.
“I know I ain’t done nothing so I’m not worried about anything.
So, I’m like all right, whatever, I just told my girlfriend, “Hey, call my grandmother tell her come bail me out of jail.
“All right, so we go down to the — we get downright here to this little big blue building, and as I’m in there the detective walks up to me, and says, “Hey, do you want to talk? “I’m like, “I don’t have anything to talk to you about.
“He’s like, “You may want to talk to me.
“I said, “Why? “He said, “Because you’re being charged with murder.
“”Murder, I ain’t murdered nobody! “Like, “Yeah, okay.
Yeah, I do want to talk to you because I want to know what’s going on.
“So, we go up to the thing.
Immediately, he starts talking about my music.
So, “Well, you know, the music is whatever, whatever.
“I’m like, “Okay, what does this have to do with anything? My music, like, really? “So, then he says, “Well, but hold on now, Brandon.
We know you have nothing to do with the crimes that we’re, you know — that happened.
We know you didn’t have anything to do with these shootings.
We know you didn’t have nothing to do with these, what — all the killings, the murders.
We know you didn’t have anything to do with it, but we think you know something about it, and because you know something about it you can be held liable based on your music because you’re talking about it in your music, but if you give us, you know, something you could walkout right now, and go home.
“I’m like, “What do you — what do you mean give you something? I don’t know anything and I’m telling you guys I don’t know anything.
“They’re like, “Well, you know, you can give us, just give us a murder.
We don’t want any crack houses, we don’t want any drugs, we want murders, cold, hard murders, and if you give us that, just give us a little something, then you can walk out that door right now, and go home.
“But because I didn’t have nothing to give them I went to jail so, we sat in jail, what, four months?
>> Four or five months.
>> We sat in jail like four or five months before we even knew what was going.
Like I — I’m talking about we knew nothing about what was going on.
I didn’t know what the evidence against me was.
I didn’t know anything for four months.
We just sat in the county jail.
Like, this is my first time being in jail, check it out, no criminal record.
I’ve been to jail one time before for a couple of days, and got out, beat that case.
It was the same type of case that they’re doing to me now where they just throw you into something because you’re a documented gang member, and say, “Hey, you have everything to do with this because you’re from this part of the community.
“So, we sat in there for four or five months, and then they started telling us –we start kind of getting every — we get the prelim.
So, we start, like, start getting a feel for what was going on.
Now, as we went through it, again, the detectives which they called themselves –what did they call themselves the?
>> Gang experts.
>> Gang experts.
[ Laughter ]Never been in a gang.
How can you be a gang expert when you’ve never been in a gang before? That makes no sense.
So, they got up on the stand and testified that we know nothing about these crimes.
My attorney asked them, “Does Mr. Duncan know anything about these crimes, or have anything to do with these crimes? “They said, “No, he doesn’t, but because he’s a documented gang member he can be held liable, and that’s how we feel.
We’re gang experts.
We know he’s an active gang member.
“When I’m working every day, I’m taking care of my kids, I’m — I haven’t been in this –I don’t even live in the community, but this is where I was raised so it shouldn’t matter, but because of that I could spend, you know, life in jail.
Being in the city jail for life based on me being from a certain part of the community, but, you know, it goes to show.
My son was a straight A student, you know, he had like a 3.8, or something like that, I remember GPA.
When they locked me up, my son had all Fs when I got back home.
When I got out of jail.
He had all Fs, hadn’t been going to school, just totally made a change.
He was just like, “I don’t care anymore, you know, what I mean.
“I’m like, “What’s going on, man, like, you was doing so good.
Like, why would you stop doing what –[inaudible], like, you know, doing what you got to do.
“He was just like, “I didn’t care no more.
They just came and snatched you up, like, they going to do the same thing to me.
“You know what I’m saying, and that’s the type of effects that this thing is having on families.
It’s like you want to help — they say they want to eradicate gangs, but that’s –the way their trying to go about isn’t the right way.
The way you eradicate gangs, I want to say how I feel about it is, you go put money in a community so these kids can have something to do, you know what I mean, instead of hanging out on the street corner.
Like football, I want to say, [inaudible] running football cost $300 –almost $400 dollars for the kids to play now.
It’s like how many parents in that community have that type of money to pay for these kids to play football.
It’s like crazy, but — so I think Bonnie Dumanis needs to do is put a little bit of money in revenue, into these communities instead of coming to snatch our kids up at this young age, and say, “Oh, you could be documented, ” at what is the age? Somebody documented at nine-years-old.
Like, they have a nine-year-old documented so he could be charged with this crime.
>> Cal Gangs database is what they keep track of all the people who are documented as gang members from the state of California.
They have 151 nine-year-olds throughout the state of California documented as gang members.
>> So, 151 nine-year-olds.
We’re talking about babies can go to jail for the rest of their life for crimes that they had absolutely nothing to with.
>> And all they have to do is wait until they’re 14, and under Proposition 21 Penal Code182.
5, they can send you to prison.
>> My grandfather passed away while I was in jail.
I asked the — my lawyer could she speak with, you know, the people.
“Can you speak with the people to try and get me out, at least so I can go to the funeral.
“Their reply back was, “Well, this has nothing to do with him.
Tell him no hard feelings, this is bigger than him.
“So, knowing I had absolutely nothing to do with these crimes, they wouldn’t even let me go bury my grandfather.
A man that I’d been with for the rest, I’ll never get that back, I’ll never get that opportunity back.
I couldn’t console my grandmother, nothing, but these are the type of devastating effects that this penal code is having on our community, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t stand-up, and vote this thing out.
We voted it in so we need to vote it out, you know what I mean.
It’s going to take us to do it.
So, everybody needs to start paying attention because like my brother said, “It might not be at your door today, but it will be at your door tomorrow.
“and that’s, you know, my spiel on the situation.
So, thank God for listening.
[ Applause ]
>> — we didn’t go through the full thing.
>> Oh, yeah, I kind of skipped with the — I’m sorry.
[Inaudible] Subject is known to have gang tattoos.
I could have a clover tattooed on me, and they’re going to doc that as a gang member tattoo, or, and today’s Saint Patty’s Day actually, yeah [laughter].
Yeah, you know, so if a person has, let’s just say you have a skull, a skull is connected to –they can — it’s a gang related tattoo.
No matter what you — no matter even what your reasons for getting that tattoo, it’s going to be gang related.
I grew up on Logan so I have designed a tattoo of a street sign that, Logan and Gwen, those are my cross-streets.
But I can’t even get that tat — I’m going to get it anyway, but I can’t even –I’m not going to conform to the system, and their corrupt policies, but that’s going to be doc as a gang tattoo, you know, they want to demonize the communities.
Again, like, let me just even say this, a lot of people don’t understand.
Lincoln Park is the name of the community.
You got Lincoln High School, you got Valencia Park [inaudible], all right.
The high schools and the [inaudible]team, they both wear green.
The high school and the community was therein what, ’40s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s maybe.
The gang didn’t develop until the ’70s, all right.
So, then you got this sign, this.
So, anytime you see a person doing this what is it, what –even us, even us, it’s not just even the police.
Even us deem it automatically as gang related because we’ve been so, you know, conformed into believing their narrative, right? But, so you see a kid in green doing this, you don’t think, they don’t think, “Well, did this guy graduate from Lincoln High School? Did him and his comrades win three [inaudible] championships?” You know, people represent their communities.
I represent my community, I’m from the community of Lincoln Park, I’m not from the gang.
I’m going to continue to represent my community because I’m proud of where I came from, and I’m not going to make them make me feel like where I’m from is wrong, you know.
So then again, off pictures.
You can’t document a person off a picture because you said a picture tells a thousand words, right.
So, these might be alumni’s from Lincoln, or they might be gang members, I don’t know, but you can’t deem a person off of a picture.
You have to know that individual, and then you know what he represents.
>> Some people don’t know, but MC Hammer was from Lincoln Park.
That he had — you guys are probably too young for this, but Too Legit to Quit.
Gangster –[ Laughter ]– you know.
So, subject has been seen frequenting gang areas.
I don’t even know what that — you know, you got — so a gang area.
Okay, my grandmother’s house, right.
They said, “That’s the gang house.
“In court, they said I was in the hub of Lincoln Park.
That is where, just, the master plans are just drawn up, in my grandmother’s, the Madame of Lincoln Park, all right.
So, they doc it a gang house because they say one gang members lived there.
The attorney said, “Well, how can you doc something a gang house?” all right.
So, it’s a loose policy, [inaudible]everything is a loose policy.
One-gang members lived there.
Well, gang members don’t live there, that’s my grandma’s house.
So, yeah, we frequented it a lot, right, so, but we’re documented gang members so whatever, gang members lived there.
The house is green and white[laughter], all right, and —
>> They say this in court too.
>> Yeah, this is court, this is in court.
They said, these prosecutors, these 10 years of college, you know, five different degrees to sayin court, “So, yeah we got gang members lived there, gang members” — I mean, the house was green.
That’s Lincoln Park, the house was green, whatever.
My grandmother is the Madame, right.
>> She’s documented too probably.
>> And gang members frequent that, all right.
So, anyplace gang members frequent is a gang.
So, if your liquor store is a gang area, [inaudible] the Mall, Region Valley Mall, just everything can be a gang — you have a question?
>> City College.
>> Yeah, up to their policies because now they can snatch you, they can grab, they can document anybody, right.
So then we have, again, subject has been seen displaying symbols or hand signs.
We just went over that.
Subject has been seen affiliating with documented gang members, right.
So, everybody in here right now is a documented gang member so everybody is affiliated with documented gang members.
>> Aaron, can you — you spoke about it last time, about how your girlfriend before [inaudible].
>> Oh, yeah, another thing.
Okay, my ex-girlfriend who was black, all right.
Well, or is black.
[ Laughter ]Yeah.
She’s documented from Lincoln Park because of me for my police stops, all right.
Well, now my ex-girlfriend, last time I spoke she wasn’t, but now [inaudible] it’s my ex-girlfriend now.
>> His new ex-girlfriend.
>> Yeah, my new ex-girlfriend.
That was like a couple days ago.
[ Laughter ]She’s white.
She’s been with me on more police stops than my ex-ex-girlfriend, the black ex-girlfriend, but they didn’t document her.
She’s white, all right.
There’s 3600 black documented gang members of [inaudible] county, I believe there’s 4600 Hispanic documented gang members, there’s 191 white in all of San Diego County, yeah, tell me about it.
Minority groups, you’re going to be deemed as gangs because you got the gang conspiracy laws, you got the gang enhancements, you got all these kinds of things, they’re hard to beat, there’s no loopholes.
You get the white groups, the supremacy groups– their hate groups, their hate crimes.
If you look at the hate crime laws, their loopholes are about this big.
>> But what gang [inaudible] be documented too.
White people, like, in California —
>> You have —
>> They’re not considered gangs.
>> They’re not considered gangs.
>> I mean —
>> They’re considered white people hate groups.
>> You got the skinheads, you got —
>> But there is no white gangs.
>> But outside of like prison.
So, like, [inaudible].
>> But it is a gang, that’s true, they should might as well call it a gang because they should — they fit into all these categories too, but —
>> But they can’t because then they can be labeled.
They can fall into those criteria.
>> White gangs.
>> Yeah, you got Lakeside skinheads, you got [inaudible] Peckerwoods.
[ Multiple Speakers ]
>> I used to live in Bakersfield and you know up there, it’s like the whole thing is all white gang, almost everything black motorcycle clubs -[ Multiple Speakers ]They say they’re hate crimes but now, they’re trying to pass a bill that will make you be black and Latino motorcycle groups gangs now.
>> Before [inaudible] I told you a well known documented gang member because I read in numerous gang communities in the30 some odd years that I’ve lived in San Diego, since a young child.
Basically I get what they’re saying, like it makes sense.
But it’s stupid.
>> Yeah [laughter].
You know it.
You’re absolutely right.
>> And they’re usually undocumented even though you beat the rap, you’re still documented are you not?
>> Yeah, and look at, they say if you go file — I’ll get to you in just a second.
If you go five years with no police contact, that which is almost impossible [laughter], five years with no police contact in your –this computer automatically kicks you off, right? So, now you’re not documented anymore which is a lie because my man, Brandon, went six years with no police contact and they say the reason why he’s still documented is because he was living out of state.
>> What says you have to go five years in that state?
>> You have to five years, I guess —
>> To get away from — get away from what your– get away from what they say is “the gang, “you leave the state and start your family and then because of that, you’re still a gang member? That’s weird.
That’s — wow.
>> [Inaudible] on the stand basically said, testified to the only way you can be undocumented is to go to prison for life [laughter], move away and never come back, or die.
>> He testified to that and said that — on court record –it’s on court record that he said that.
That is the only way you could possibly become undocumented.
So, you could change your life, become a teacher, lawyer —
>> So those little nine years old — nine year-olds are pretty much — for their whole life.
>> Messed up status.
>> — anything, for the rest of their life because of the [inaudible].
>> [Inaudible] they won’t and the reason why I say they won’t —
>> They won’t do something about it.
>> That’s right.
>> I was going to — I was just –I was really, before all this, man, I was just going to be a real estate agent.
And my goal — my best friend actually, he’s studying to become an orthodontist at UC-Davis right now.
He’s in med school.
He’s probably documented because of me.
He was ready to drop out of school and move because he’s so scared because they could have went — well, not anymore now, because his case is over with to a certain extent but they could have put him on our case, right? We’re going to get rid of 182.5, that’s going to get it erased off the books.
We got to amend so much stuff in [inaudible], they’re pretty much going to have to erase that too.
>> That’s right.
>> Then we’re going to attack this.
I’m not speaking in numerical order, but then we’re going to attack.
We’re going to get rid of this.
You’re going to document real gang members.
I’m not against documenting a gang member or if a person does a crime, they need to do the time, no problem.
Like you know what you signed up for, so hey —
>> Yeah, I was going to say so there’s a number of different issues, right —
>> — that are going on kind of with this law.
One of them is that you have these laws that are disproportionately kind of impacting African American and Latinos, right? You all just happened to be the flavor of the day that they literally said they were going to test it out —
>> — upon you so they could start rounding everybody else up.
Thank God at the beginning part, has time — has been changed.
Then you have this crazy thing that you can make somebody a gang member just –is kind of like spin the wheel, and all right, you’re a gang member.
But I think the larger question also is this, is, “Why should a person who is a gang member, right, be charged with anything different than anybody else that has committed that same crime?” Right? So, a white fraternity boy who sells drugs should get the same amount of time as an African American guy who grew up and was raised in Lincoln Park.
Right? Why is there a difference? What is wrong? It’s not illegal in the United States to be a gang member.
>> A member of any — membership is not —
>> That’s right and just the fact that they don’t document white people as a gang even though they’re committing the same crimes, doing the same everything shows that this really is a racial issue.
>> Yes, [inaudible].
>> And even labeling somebody as a gang member is a racial issue, so we can create these ugly scary boogiemen in our mind that it’s okay to hang them which is the same thing they used to do with regular African American before –instead of calling them gang members, they would call them “niggers” before hanging them from trees.
So, all of these things are super important but I think we also need to look at how we are told and how people are kind of criminalized, dehumanized under this title of gang members, right?
>> Gang members and black people.
>> That’s right.
>> My uncle — well, I — when I wasn’t born, so I don’t think you guys were born, was involved in a case, a police murder back in the ’80s, right.
They were acquitted like 12 years later.
The police have admitted to like me and my brother, his son, that they are –they come after us because of what happened in the ’80s.
I wasn’t even born when it happened.
So –[ Inaudible Speaker ]We branded, these 33 people on this case, we are not a special case or just the first case and we were going to set the tone for everybody else, but there are thousands and millions of people who are going through the same thing we’re going through in this city and throughout the nation.
It’s just — we have to start speaking up.
And I’m — you know what? I’m guilt of this too, like I — there’s no way in the world I should have been stopped by the police this many times and I’ve never filed a complaint.
And no excuse, but the reason why I never filed a complaint because I –I was pulled over one time, a police officer told me, “We’re going to search this car legally or illegally.
“So, sure go on.
How you going to do it? Yeah, you’ve heard that before too [laughter].
I told him, “I’m not — you know, you’re the police.
I can’t stop you from doing what you’re going to do, but I’m not consenting to the search.
“He snatched me out my window, right, put me on the ground, kind of roughed me up a bit, threw me in the back of the police car.
And then they just let me go, right? I told him I was going to file a complaint, he said, “No problem.
Go ahead and file a complaint but you have to see me tomorrow.
“So, like who’s going to file a complaint when you have to leave –because I do have to see these men tomorrow.
He can do whatever he wants, you know.
So, I never filed a complaint but you can’t– that fear had me facing 56 years to life.
You know what I mean? So, we have to start filing complaints because we say, “Well, what is the complaint going to do?” You know, what it does is it goes in this man’s file.
So, he arrests you, he arrests you, he arrests you, and it’s all in his file.
So when it comes time for promotions, he doesn’t get them.
Then he might just harass just one too many people and now, he’s fired, you know.
So we can — they say they want to eradicate gangs? We should eradicate that gang.
>> You know what I mean? But we have to take proper steps, you know, we got to be in with the pen because they’re beating us with the pen with these laws and things like that.
One, we have to be in agreement with one another, all right? So, the Bible says, “Two men can’t walk together unless they are in agreement, ” right? But I think we twist that and think that we have to be in agreement with everything, right? So, we just have to come together on one issue.
We all know this is wrong, so we agree on that.
We don’t have to agree on anything else, but we agree on this.
And we got to put egos to the side, we got to put everything else to the side.
These are people, these are lives we’re talking about.
These aren’t pawns in a chess game, you know, these aren’t just numbers or statistics, you know, things of that nature.
So, if you can get — you know, because the black population, I believe is like less than4% — or 4% in San Diego.
I think half of that is incarcerated.
>> That’s right.
>> So, we can’t do it alone, you know.
So, you’re going to need us, and that’s why I say it’s not a black issue, it’s a people issue and we got to come and gather just as people, egos to the side and attack this problem on multiple fronts.
You know, I see there’s like a billion different organizations in San Diego which is fine.
But I believe those organizations, at least one representative per organization needs to be able to meet with the other organizations, like a little council meeting in a sense, to come together on one accord and attack.
Because if Bonnie Dumanis, Chief Zimmerman, the mayor, or whoever is being attacked on multiple different fronts by multiple different people who are on the same accord, the people — the powers that be are a small percentage.
We have the numbers and the things is it’s like during slavery.
How could you have 1500 slaves and three people being like it –and, you know, but it was the conformity of the mind? They felt like, “Okay, these three people have the power to make the masses do this, “because it was a psychological thing but really, the numbers is what can control and can run and the government works for us, we don’t work for the government.
>> And there’s also some — I’m sorry — there’s also some organizations even on campus that are in the process of doing that and I think student led movements, if you look throughout history, are only the movements that actually had some type of effect.
And so, the pillars of the community scholars society, with Marie as the co-chair and Barry –invested in issues that deal with the criminal justice system and supporting people that have formally incarcerated on campus, the Umoja club also which Tony is the president of also does a lot of work on campus.
So, there’s even things on campus moving toward like you mentioned Operation Lemon Drop.
I know one of the things that we’re going to be working on is training people to actually be able to report –record, and be a part of some of these.
When you’re at a traffic stop and you see the police who are coming out and hassling people just for no reason, so there’s actually going to give, –collect information on and actually have some action, you know.
NBS that’s the closes thing to kind of the bus boycotts that we had when Rosa Parks and all these types of things.
But you really need to create waves and systems to be able to work through those issues.
So, there are some organizations on campus that ae connected to some of these larger programs also.
>> Yeah, and I encourage like, join something on campus.
If not, you don’t necessarily have to join an organization but at least somehow assist in that movement Because every one person is just as important as the next and if you just sit around and just wait for things to kind of happen, it’s never going to happen.
And speaking of the movement, the Civil Right’s Movement, yeah you had Martin Luther King and all the other guys but those were all college students who did that.
You know, so the idea of college students just going to class and partying or whatever, that’s new.
All right, the generations have made the change and made things happen were us, you know.
And that’s why on these cases you’ve got 33 black men I believe only two or three of them are in their mid-30s.
Everybody’s from the age of 18 to 26.
Why is that? You know? Those are the politicians, the lawyers, those are the doctors [inaudible].
>> So, we just scored what I think is a major victory in the judge throwing out the charges in your case.
In capitalizing on that victory, I’m just curious to hear from you, what do you think was the decisive factor in that? Was it just a sympathetic judge? Was it great counsel? Was it the folks who were mobilized downtown? What do you think [inaudible] the idea is to replicate that success.
>> A selection of one, put pressure on the powers that be, mess with that money, the elections and all that kind of stuff.
They’ll think twice.
On the judge’s part, I think it was many kinds, just like having a conscious and common sense.
These nine shootings, no body’s in jail.
Nobody’s been charged.
These are unsolved crimes.
Technically the DA doesn’t even know where the shooting even came from [laughter].
They came from any neighborhood so it was — it’s a little bit of everything.
Clergy men getting involved, us doing rallies, seeing young people were out.
Young people, you know, sometimes we all have that sense –they’re unpredictable, you don’t know what young people are going to do.
You know what I mean? So, I think it was a collection [inaudible].
>> So, my question is, I’m not really sure what the case entails, I just remember reading of your [inaudible] or what the music said or whatnot.
But to me, I think of these rappers that we have our mainstream like Lil Wayne and Greg Ross and they talk about violence and they talk about shootings, and drugs, and so all these — and all this really stupid shit.
But I don’t ever see them being, you know, no one ever goes after them and they have big money –[ Multiple Speakers ]
>> It wasn’t intentional because[inaudible], they don’t want those type of lawyers on these type of cases.
They know its BS from the beginning and if you bring the right type of attorneys in, it’s like, you know, you shut it down fast.
They’re never going to attack nobody like that.
>> So, that leads me to my second question because when you look at [inaudible] just anywhere that way, a lot of these families don’t have money.
A lot of them are putting up their houses, you know, to get some kind of money to put on, you know, their family to, you know, have good counsel.
>> So, what is — how did you guys?
>> I mean we just — family.
>> A little something put up but for the most part, you know, family, you know, come together and helped out and I’ve dealt with my lawyer before so he was kind of like –he’s like a family friend same time so.
He was willing to help out too, you know, take a little here and there.
But yeah, that’s why they attack us because they know the money’s not there.
That’s where that’s from.
>> Okay, a resolution I think to that problem is taxpayer citizen, right? We pay for the district attorney’s budget and we pay for the public defender’s budget, right? But the district attorney’s budget I believe is like 2.7%and the public defender’s budget is .7, so we pay as taxpayers, pay more money to be prosecuted than we do to be defended.
So, we need to find a way– I don’t know the way.
That’s why I’m going to law school in the fall, you now.
We have to find a way where not even to find this money and pull it to the public defender’s office, but let’s just make –just take the money from the district attorney’s office and just even out the playing field because if anything, we should be paying more money to get defended —
>> — you know, but if they won’t even do that, we need to find a way to just make it easier or I mean an even playing field so then it can really be a fair fight then, you know.
And we got to stop taking deals.
We got to stop pleading out.
Now, they offered me and Brandon probation.
We could have been out of this a long time ago, you know.
>> Probation and a felony.
>> It would have been a felony.
It would have been a felony —
>> With a strike or no strike?
>> — a strike, and I would have had to register as a gang member.
>> You guys would have had a strike by now?
>> It would have been a gang related shooting, shooting at an [inaudible]dwelling or something.
So, I would never been able to get a job.
>> I think this — the — I’ve been around fora long time [laughter] and one of the things, the reasons that the Civil Rights Movement was successful was because there was media coverage.
Had there been no media there, they would have just been hung and lynched like the way the south, the southern blacks had been controlled up until that time and even in the Midwest and all over the country.
The other thing that — I was in the Black Panther Party in 1969and the Black Panther Party figured out some innovative tactics to make known what was happening with police brutality in Oakland.
Namely they managed to be present when anybody was stopped and arrested, or made their presence and to tell the person their rights and to pretty much stop the police in their tracks.
But by doing it, they got a whole lot of publicity and they got destroyed because they were seen as too much of a threat and were labeled as the biggest threat to the whole country.
And so, I think that for the movement, we need to have solidarity amongst groups because it’s not just a black movement.
But we also — and we need to use the law and we need to change the law, but we also in the process have to figure out how to use the media in all of its forms.
To do actions that — you know, they need something interesting for them to even come out and be there and there’s no media here today.
I don’t know if we invited them but frequently they don’t show or they don’t report.
The other thing I wanted to mention to the brother back there who teaches Chicano Study, all of those Mexican kids or Mexican-American kids who got arrested around those gang killings, they got arrested because of the clothes they wore [laughter].
And I mean they were Mexican but because they were Mexican and they wore those clothes.
Malcolm X wore the same clothes because that was one of the cool in the 1940s, the zoot suits.
So, it’s the same thing and it’s guilt –this was also was used against anybody who was a progressive person, a socialist, or a communist who really wanted to change this country in the ’40s and the ’50sand it was guilt by association and that was one of the darkest times in the history of the United States.
It was the early 1950s where they had this committee going all around the country labeling people as communists or fellow travelers including Lucille Ball, you know.
And so they were just going out to everybody and made them scared and that’s what this is doing.
Final point is I think you started outtalking about how people are getting out of incarceration now because of our recent law and that some of this you think is in response —
>> It is.
>> — to the money that was getting piped into –it continues to be piped into the prison industrial complex, right? And so, that’s a whole other side that we can’t lose site of is that they’re trying to use the straight money on some of this.
>> [Inaudible] I pretty know where — we wore Ducquets because my brother was —
>> But do they think of it like — oh like, oh they thought of me like, gang members?
>> Oh yeah [inaudible].
>> But it’s not a bad brand.
It’s pretty cool because you guys are rapping the brand reaching out in the community.
So, you know, I found that [inaudible].
>> They ought to make Ducquets a gang member [laughter].
>> Yeah, it will be like a Lincoln Park thing or they wear [inaudible].
>> Now, I have to tell you and you’d have to go down either to your police station in your neighborhood or to this police station and ask, all right? But see again, I don’t want to discourage you guys from doing that but let’s say you’re not a documented gang member, right? And you go in here and ask, “Am I a documented gang member?” And they’re going to be like, “Why is this kid asking?” You know?[ Inaudible Speakers ]And then they might — now, your name is across somebody’s desk.
Now, let’s go on Facebook, let’s see if —
>> Wait a second, do you know Aaron[inaudible] by any chance [laughter]?They might just — and I don’t know if they’ll do that, but you know, I’m just so distrustful of the police that that’s what they would do.
Okay? Well, give me your name.
Yeah, and where do you –what neighborhood do you stay? Let me see.
Now they’re getting your information they go to your Facebook, now they put your name in the system to the police officers and they will look for you in your neighborhood.
Now, we got the documents.
So, it’s kind of like Catch 22 in a way.
It’s like, you know —
>> There’s no website that you can go on?
>> Now see, that’s what they need.
But see, under the — and this is how they get away with it — public –or privacy is a public — privacy information act or something like that? See, they can’t set that out there because it –[ Inaudible Speaker ]Now, see they make the laws.
That’s why we need to do this and that’s why I’m going to law school.
I’m not going to law school to be an attorney to represent people in courtrooms.
I’m going to law school so I can be sitting down at the table when laws like 182.
5 are being written up and developed and trying to get pushed through.
I’m there to say, “No, ya’ll not doing that to my people, ” you know what I mean?[ Applause ]What we have to do is we have to take off the negative influence that we put on each other in our — and our younger people of being police officers.
We need more minority police officers.
We need more minority district attorneys.
We need more, you know, because you can’t — this system –you’re not going to be able to fight it like this.
We can’t do it.
Look, it’s been tried and they won’t– they’ll annihilate you, right? But if you get put in their position, if you’re in the same job as them, then you can make an influence and a change that way instead of fighting fire with fire and beat them at their own game and become one, but to do it the right way.
>> We have our POTC society meeting every Tuesday at 12:445, MS 440.
We’d love to have you guys here and –but basically what we’re doing is like we get together –we get like, financial aid help for you if you need help.
Just kind of resources and then we kind of talk to you –like try to influence each other[inaudible] make changes in as well.
And I just wanted to pin point that you that, you know, we talked about before is that they’ve done a lot of work to make us hate each other.
They don’t want the Latinos like the blacks, blacks and Latinos, conquer and divide.
And you guys learned that in school and what we got to do is a lot of that’s not working [inaudible].
They’re going to make you guys hate each other because if you don’t look around, guess what, I’m going to hate you if you don’t take responsibility for the crime you committed and that’s what we need is our voice back.
We’re not going to hate you anymore.
It’s not a hate thing.
It’s about learning to love one another and be good to ourselves and to our communities, you know.
You come to school, just don’t get your education and leave with it.
Get in — I mean, we have a future lawyer.
We have future organizers in this community, you know.
I came here from the streets, a recovering addict, you know, homeless with five kids atone point and you know what? I went out there and tried to organize, I’m involved.
I’m getting these kinds of things together because this stuff is important and not just me.
I can’t do it alone, I need every single one of you to start voicing, start working, and making this priority because this is our community.
It’s our brothers, and our sisters, and our mothers, and fathers that make — that it will affect.
So, thank you –[ Applause ]