Yesterday's Tri-City Herald editorial includes numbers that underscore the importance of tackling the state's public safety emergency:
- Yakima had 17 gang-related homicides in 2010, while the Tri-Cities had one suspected gang-related homicide.
- There were 52 drive-by shootings in the Lower Valley, not including Yakima, last year. Benton and Franklin counties had 15.
As we've mentioned before, Washington state is tied for fourth place among states with the most drive-by shootings.
Also in the news this week, a fascinating piece by the SeattlePI.com's Levi Pulkkinen about a Seattle gang case stretching back years and intersecting with other high profile incidents:
That afternoon, Lee was joined at the park by several men alleged to be involved in Seattle gangs, including Thomas Callandret, a suspect in the Dec. 2, 2008 slaying of Nathaniel Lee Thomas at Vito's Madison Grill currently serving time in federal prison for drug crimes....Prosecutors were prepared to contend that rivalries between Hutson's gang and Lee's Low Profiles -- a breakaway set of Deuce 8 -- played a part in the shooting, a contention disputed by Hutson's attorney. That rivalry dates to the slaying of another Seattle man, Deuce 8 leader Terrell Milam. Milam was widely believed to have injured then-Seahawks defensive back Ken Hamlin in a bar brawl in October 2005. He was shot to death not long afterward by Omar A. Norman, a Low Profile gang member currently serving a 52-year prison term for Milam's murder.
I point out this case because our bill targets the worst of the worst. As you can read above, a small number of gang members are capable of wreaking an incredible path of destruction.
Learn more about our anti-gang bill on the AGO legislative page.