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A Letter Parents Don’t Want To Get From The Cops: Your Kid’s In A Gang

Evening Edition

Above: In the past, parents might not learn their children are documented gang members until they're summoned to court for the child's arraignment. Now, under a new state law, parents will discover police believe their children are gang members in a letter instead of in court. Speak City Heights reporter Megan Burks says the letters are a win for transparency, but so far, not much else.

Aired 5/7/14 on KPBS News.

Parents can protest the gang designation, but KPBS found recently that the 10 parents who received the letters from the San Diego police didn't challenge the finding.

California law enforcement agencies are now required to notify parents before they document minors as gang members and give them the opportunity to appeal the decision.

KPBS recently took a look at the San Diego Police Department's notifications process, which involves sending a letter to parents. We found of the 10 parents who received the letters, none responded.

The police suggested parents may remain silent because they're already disengaged from their children or are afraid to snitch on their children. Marriage and family therapist Kahalifa King works with families impacted by gangs and said he believes mistrust of the police is the bigger factor.

Read the whole story. You also can find the audio version of the story on this webpage.

Our look into gang notifications continues our examination of San Diego's gang culture and the community's response to it.

Read more:

The Scope Of San Diego's Gang Culture

In Southeastern San Diego, The Fine Line Between Gang Policing And Gang Behavior

San Diego Police Helping End Gang Retaliation With Text Messages

‘At-Risk, Whatever That Means’: Who Actually Needs Gang Intervention

Bringing Legitimacy – And Money – to San Diego Street Outreach Workers

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | May 7, 2014 at 7:34 a.m. ― 5 months, 3 weeks ago

better the letter now than the death notice later.

( | suggest removal )