CARS HOMES JOBS

Report hits drug sweeps of black youths

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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— Four drug sweeps that targeted Albany neighborhoods in the last six years unfairly sent young black men to prison for a third of their lives, according to the latest report from the Center for Law and Justice, Inc.

At a Tuesday morning news conference, Center Executive Director Alice Green presented findings from the report, titled “What Have We Done? Mass Incarceration and the Targeting of Albany’s Black Males by Federal, State and Local Authorities.” The center’s third and final report of the year asserts that structural racism was inherent in the Albany sweeps of 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Members of the city’s young black community have been sentenced to more than 600 years in prison for non-violent offenses as a result of these sweeps, according to the report.

“In essence, many of Albany’s black males were sentenced to serve a third of their young lives behind bars for merely having associated in one way or another — either through a phone call, by enjoying similar music, by attending the same social function, or through some other seemingly innocuous connection — with those suspected of criminal activity,” the report says.

The four drug sweeps targeted Albany street gangs known as the Jungle Junkies, the Original Gangsta Killas and the Bloods. The report contends that officials relied on prior felony conviction to weakly link defendants to alleged racketeering conspiracy.

The 2006 sweep targeted gang activity in the city’s Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods. Of the 30 alleged gang members that were charged, 27 were black. Sixteen of them, none of whom was older than 21 at the time, pleaded guilty to a single charge of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations conspiracy.

A second RICO sweep was conducted the city’s South End in 2009, with 25 members and associates of the OGKs charged. Next were the Bloods, 41 of whom were charged by state officials after a months-long investigation involving surveillance and wiretaps. The most recent raid was in March of this year, and resulted in 52 alleged gang members being charged.

The Center for Law and Justice closed out its report by calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint a task force charged with assessing and addressing the impact of mass incarceration on the state’s minority communities. Community organizations will discuss the topic further at a forum to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Albany at 6 p.m. Oct. 25.

 
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comments

October 17, 2012
6:29 a.m.
wmarincic says...

And those nice young boys are responsible for violence against innocent people. They are gang members not church members. There are more blacks going to jail for drugs because that is who the dealers are.... Yes there are some white dealers but they are mostly users. The police go to the highest probability of arrest and unfortunately that is Arbor Hill and The South End.

Those nice gang memberes were responsible for the suicides of 6 young girls in Schenectady and multiple shootings. Maybe you need to mentor these nice boys Alice and they wont be out there selling drugs and shooting people.

October 17, 2012
8:27 a.m.
stickyg says...

Just an ignorant article. The reporter must be black.

October 18, 2012
6:26 a.m.
Will1960 says...

Wmarincic,

Yoy have no facts to back up you claims that drug dealers mostly are black and users are white and you are absolutely wrong about linking violent crime with your assertions. These defendnets were convicted of non-violent crime with RICO charges added on to stack up the penalties. It's not your ox that being gored here. When the government targets one segment of society that happens to have the least power and influence while totally ignoring the majority of drug users that do have power and influence, it creates a disparity that is harmful to society.

You mention Schenectady which has nothing to do with this report. Try to stick to the parameters of the story and offer some stats to back up your statements. The reality is these folks are the lowest hanging fruit. That's why they are easy pickings for law enforcement. When you have blacks using 13% of the drugs and they account for 74% of those in prison for drugs, racism can't have anything to do with that injustice, could it? This report is backed up and documented at www.sentencingporject.org.

October 18, 2012
6:26 a.m.
Will1960 says...

Wmarincic,

Yoy have no facts to back up you claims that drug dealers mostly are black and users are white and you are absolutely wrong about linking violent crime with your assertions. These defendnets were convicted of non-violent crime with RICO charges added on to stack up the penalties. It's not your ox that being gored here. When the government targets one segment of society that happens to have the least power and influence while totally ignoring the majority of drug users that do have power and influence, it creates a disparity that is harmful to society.

You mention Schenectady which has nothing to do with this report. Try to stick to the parameters of the story and offer some stats to back up your statements. The reality is these folks are the lowest hanging fruit. That's why they are easy pickings for law enforcement. When you have blacks using 13% of the drugs and they account for 74% of those in prison for drugs, racism can't have anything to do with that injustice, could it? This report is backed up and documented at www.sentencingporject.org.

October 18, 2012
6:28 a.m.
Will1960 says...

Wmarincic,

Yoy have no facts to back up you claims that drug dealers mostly are black and users are white and you are absolutely wrong about linking violent crime with your assertions. These defendnets were convicted of non-violent crime with RICO charges added on to stack up the penalties. It's not your ox that's being gored here. When the government targets one segment of society that happens to have the least power and influence while totally ignoring the majority of drug users that do have power and influence, it creates a disparity that is harmful to society.

You mention Schenectady which has nothing to do with this report. Try to stick to the parameters of the story and offer some stats to back up your statements. The reality is these folks are the lowest hanging fruit. That's why they are easy pickings for law enforcement. When you have blacks using 13% of the drugs and they account for 74% of those in prison for drugs, racism can't have anything to do with that injustice, could it? This report is backed up and documented at www.sentencingporject.org.

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