An irrigation ditch runs through "Twamp Gang" territory in Fresno, California. The heartland of the bread basket of America. Surrounded by farmland that feeds much of the nation, farmed by immigrant families from across Latin America and wracked by gang violence. Its urban center provides little to no financial opportunities for its inhabitants other than migratory field work and its neighborhoods are dominated by criminal gangs made up of youth not content to follow the footsteps of their parents into the fields.
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TRG (Tiny Rascal Gang) gang members quickly leave an area as one of their members is questioned by a MAGEC (gang unit) police officer in Fresno.
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After leading police on a high speed car chase, a boy sits in custody while members of the gang unit chase his friends on foot through the neighborhood. The boy was not found to be gang affiliated, but instead ran from the gang unit because he was scared of them.
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Mirella Ponce is questioned by members of the gang unit after they found a loaded pistol in her vehicle during a traffic stop. After the Seargent of the unit posted her mugshot on social media, (a tactic frequently used to publicly shame people) the photo went viral due to her good looks. When Ponce was released from prison for gang enhanced weapons charges, she was offered several modeling opportunities by local magazines and tattoo parlors.
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Fresno Police Sergeant Paul Cervantes of the Multi Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) conducts a security sweep of a home in Fresno, CA. Cervantes was later charged with corruption and removed as head of the task force in a scandal that would lead to a shakeup of the Fresno Police department.
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Fresno gang unit officers chase suspects on foot through gang territory after the suspects led the officers on a high speed chase.
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After leading police on a high speed car chase, then a foot chase through the neighborhood, a boy vomits in custody while members of the gang unit search the area for weapons or drugs. None were found. The boy was not gang affiliated but was fearful of the police.
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Alleged "Twamp Gang" members are questioned after police followed their social media feeds to find one of the members, who was wanted on weapons charges, present in the apartment. Social media is increasingly one of the main tools used by the unit to find wanted persons. 2 guns were recovered in a vehicle belonging to an inhabitant of the apartment, parked outside.
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A makeup bag with BFF emblazoned with sparkles is found full of .40 caliber pistol rounds, next to 2 pistols, in a car of alleged "Twamp Gang" members.
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An alleged "L Street" Bulldog gang member is arrested after a loaded pistol was found on his person.
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Gang unit officer Dalain Medina leads a suspected Bulldog gang member to her patrol car after finding a loaded pistol during a search.
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Gang unit officers speak to residents after arresting an alleged gang member with a pistol on his person in front of their apartment. Officers of the gang unit often try to balance gathering information with trying to make in-roads and communicate with juveniles to encourage them not to join gangs.
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Boys resume playing football while gang unit officers arrest another boy, alleged to be a member of the Bulldog gang, for having a pistol.
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Jose Jimenez greets his good friend Kain Castro soon after he was released from 4 yrs of incarceration on gang enhanced charges by showing him his new ink, a scarface tattoo. Castro was at the cemetery to visit several graves of friends murdered while he was doing time.
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Tamara Brown lay spiritual oils on her son Zurich Chatman as he lay in critical condition from a gunshot wound to the head. Zurich was mistakingly targeted by gang members on the steps of his church, while he was headed to a black history month celebration with his girlfriend, the pastor's daughter. Chatman, a vocal member of his church who frequently decried the violence in his community, would later die from his wounds.
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The family of Zurich Chatman mourns his loss at a funeral for the twenty year old in Fresno, CA. Initial reports of Chatmans murder described him as being targeted "for his activities in the area" a comment made by the police chief and quickly reproduced by local media. Chatman, a pillar of the community, was anything but a gang member and the hasty statement and lazy reporting by media increased distrust in the local community of both police and media, neither of whom went to the community to speak with family or church members about the boy.
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A flock of birds fly over the hospital where Zurich Chatman lay dying of his gunshot wounds after he was targeted outside his church in a case of mistaken identity.
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A celebration is held for the positive and short life of Zurich Chatman after it was taken from him by a gang member's bullet. Members of Chatman's community did not want his services to be a somber affair, but instead preferred that it reflect the positive nature of the boy's life.