Gangs, or not gangs

Register
Oct 15, 2013

It would be naive for anyone to believe our region is not impacted by gangs, drug dealers and others involved in criminal behavior. All one has to do is read the daily police blotters from communities throughout the area published in the Register to affirm that. 

We understand why police and prosecutors decided to attach gang specification charges against numerous people who were involved in a fight Aug. 25. The brawl was videotaped and is difficult to watch because it's so disheartening. 
 
But 13 of the people arrested in the course of the investigation are underage teenagers, and many of their parents are angered over the gang charges attached to filings in court against them. They contend the fight was over a heated disagreement on a basketball court, and it appears that might be the case since the videotaped fighting was tame  by gang standards. 
 
There was a lot of slapping, posturing and macho man-standing captured on the video, but gangs don't usually play it out that way. Gangs use guns and knives and violent beatings to settle turf wars and none of that was shown here. Gang specification charges require an ongoing criminal enterprise to be evident before that label can be used. 
 
The teens and their families involved here, and even the adults who were charged, don't deserve a "gang" label unless it can be shown — beyond reasonable doubt  — they were engaged in a criminal gang enterprise. We hope prosecutors carefully consider that as these cases move forward and remove that label and the gang charges if they cannot show the criminal enterprise that warrants them. 
 
Obviously, property was destroyed and criminal damaging charges, disorderly conduct and other charges might be appropriate, but this is not be the first, nor will it be the last, fight that will happen over a heated disagreement in a competitive game. 

Comments

observer

"This Viewpoint reflects the majority opinion of the Register editorial board. Members of the board are: Tim Parkison, publisher; Matt Westerhold, managing editor; Mike Schaffer, chief design editor; Mark Yocum, advertising director; Kathy Lilje, features editor; and Latasha Webb, home delivery manager."

Then clearly you ALL have no clue what is happening in the city you reside in! Keep closing your eyes until the gangs take over the whole city. The Register and staff continue to be a JOKE in this city.

vicariouslyAlive

Gangs aren't determined by the weapons they use or the methods of income. A gang is a mentality. The posturing and hand gestures, packing up like wild dogs... one could call it mob mentality if it went for the fact that they are a close knit group of people and not just a bunch of randoms. Which is why they were lab led gangs.

Call them what you want in your petty game of semantics... but a duck is a duck no matter what name you give it.

BDupler

This Editorial Board is like Ron Paul, they start making some decent points for a couple days and you start believing in them. Then they spout some crazy non-sense and you realize that you are dealing this someone (or a group of someones) that does not live in reality.

DickTracey

I agree, I was so happy to read the first two paragraphs. I thought , "Oh good, the college educated, decent writers at the Register, are actually going going to counter the ridiculous article posted by Damon, from the press room."

It is apparent that the author of this column has never spent any time with a counsellor or self help book, to learn that you never use the "but" statement. As soon as the third paragraph started with a "but" I knew it was going down hill.

That's like me saying, I love my hometown paper, I think the Register is great. But I hate all the errors, I don't like their opinions, I can't stand all the flyers in it and it cost too much.

Bottom Line

This column is a joke. The Register is a joke.

deertracker

Sorry guys but I think the SR has some valid points. A bunch of kids fighting does not constitute a "gang" or gang problem. Some of you are just scared!

Bottom Line

Of course you think that. All YOU care about is their skin color. Good citizens of Sandusky only care about their actions and what it could further lead to. Hope they fight on your steps next... Ya know since there was no immediate threat of violence.

santown419

Where did you see anything about skin color in his comment ? Its odvious that's all you see or care about that's why you are commenting on him. bottom line is you don't know what your talking about.

SamAdams

A "gang" isn't defined by gunshots or drugs. It's not defined by age or club meetings, a patch on a jacket, or the "reason" behind a fight, either. A "gang" is a group, and a gang of a criminal nature is a group engaging in a crime.

It's on video, folks. I'm sorry if some people don't want to think that THEIR precious little angel would do such a thing, but sometimes reality bites, and the reality is that two groups of thugs started to have it out and they did it on camera. If the shoe fits...

Besides, is a 14 year-old who beats toddler to death NOT a violent murderer because he's 14? Is a 15 year-old who stabs somebody on the sidewalk not a menace because she's not old enough to vote? Age has nothing to do with it; behavior has EVERYthing to do with it. And this behavior was a) criminal, and b) a match for the law's definition of "gang."

Stop the bleeding heart crap (a hefty dose of the same is what got us here, in the midst of conscienceless brats with no concept of consequences), and start the demands for a little responsibility for one's own actions!

deertracker

Quit your preaching! You have no clue what you are talking about. SMDH!

Bottom Line

As usual, someone makes an intelligent, logical and well said post and you have nothing with substance to contribute. So instead of keeping your mouth shut which would serve you best, you come off like the idiot we already know you are.

deertracker

If you think she is right, try wearing a biker patch or gang tattoo. You would not live very long if you are not part of their "gang". I don't have to keep my mouth shut just to serve you and those that think you know it all. Put on the patch. I dare you tough guy! If you think what she wrote was "intelligent" you are just as clueless as she is! Don't shoot the messenger. I am just pointing out the obvious!

getit right be4...

There are many bicker patchers that will bring you no harm. Not every biker with matching vest and patches are violent gang members. That is profiling.

There are bicker clubs of Dr.'s, clubs of Lawyers, clubs of Priest, clubs of retired vets, and so on.

Yes there are also very violent gangs of worthless bickers that contribute nothing to society.

When they are caught on video in gang activity will you be there to defend them?

meowmix

Deertracker didn't say donning a biker patch will get you hurt each and every time! But, I'm willing to bet it will most of the time, likewise tattoo, bandana, etc.

I'm thinking, getit, that you're relating more to Spanky, Alfalfa and their "No Girls Allowed-He Man Woman Haters" Club eh?

getit right be4...

Not sure what you are referring to. Where did I wright anything that could be taken as Woman Haters Club?

starryeyes83

Exactly how old are you?

BTW: it's biker not bicker.

Rusty of Sandusky

"This is not be the first, nor will it be the last..." horrific display of grammar by the Sandusky Register staff. Glad to see that they take ownership exactly where ownership is due and that this reflects the viewpoint of the entire editorial board.

Charger85

Let those of you without grammar inaccuracies cast the first stone. You sir, threw that stone too soon. Don't end your sentences in prepositions, and don't get grammar righteous when you can't use proper grammar yourself.

Kelly

*

Wald

He's not the publisher of a newspaper. They had misspellings in yesterday's column as well. A newspaper should have higher standards than a blogger.

DickTracey

I would bet that if you ask one of those kids, they would tell you they were in a gang. I would also bet that they have a tattoo, shirt or hat with the gang name or color on it too.

To these "kids" their gang is their family, their blood. When their real family does not and has not paid any attention to them they find a group of likewise kids that will. They spend more time with their gang than they do their family.

looking around

Sort of like the Outlaws MC.

santown419

What the he!! are you talking about. What is a gang name on a hat what are gang colors. So if you are a browns fan you can't wear browns clothes because it has a " B" on it. You wouldn't even know gang colors if you saw it. Most gangs don't even go by colors anymore. I was a GD or FOLK I could walk right up to you and you wouldn't know it especially since one of our colors wad black. So you trying to tell me you have no black tee shirts. You a Joke!

santown419

What the he!! are you talking about. What is a gang name on a hat what are gang colors. So if you are a browns fan you can't wear browns clothes because it has a " B" on it. You wouldn't even know gang colors if you saw it. Most gangs don't even go by colors anymore. I was a GD or FOLK I could walk right up to you and you wouldn't know it especially since one of our colors wad black. So you trying to tell me you have no black tee shirts. You a Joke!

OMGreally

and maybe, just maybe if these parents that are so worried about a "label" being put on their children would have been paying attention to their children, they would not have been involved in whatever you want to pretend that altercation was about to begin with. Or maybe we should just hand them all a participation trophy and tell johnny to do better next time and send him on his way

Onemanforce

For the love of Pete!!! Must this horse continued to be beaten posthumously??!! Let it go for goodness sake. All you're doing is adding fuel to a fire that is getting virtually impossible to douse. Give it a rest!!

The New World Czar

The SR wouldn't identify all underage suspects in the first place. Nothing like hiding in your downtown building and taking weak cheap shots at the justice system instead of the focusing on the behavior of the suspects and their "families" who did such an incredible job keeping their kids in line.

devilsadvocate

So this disturbs me. These kids, who think they are in a gang, now realize that they have to use a knife or gun or beat someone up to show they are in a gang. Guess their next step?

santown419

How do you know they think their in a gang. How many have you talked to? Just last year there was a brawl between Bellevue and Margaretta would that be labled a gang fight? They were in colors there was more than one. They all were under a name either Bellevue or Margaretta. They also claimed a territory.

Onemanforce

Yes. Nothing like the media to, in escence, say to the hoodlums: Hey! You're doing it wrong! If you're gonna fight, Fight fo real! Sorry SR, but very pathetic. Leave the court system to do its job and let them handle it from here. All the SR staff are doing is worsening an already tumultuous situation and "Egging on" a city already in unrest. ENOUGH!!

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